I found this excerpt from an article on reaDIYmates’ Kickstarter project very thought provoking:
“By creating objects with specialized functions, we can reduce information (and notification) overload. By making the messenger physical and separate from the computer, we untether people from their devices.”
I think the possibilites in that regard are quite grand. I can envision my desk space, or take it further and say office in general, replete with various “friend” objects, each having their own notification or reminder type function. By putting a social connection between myself and a, for example, paper bird, I now have a sense of goodwill when that bird’s dedicated reminders come up. The bird is now a friend wanting to chat, versus my computer screen spitting out various digits quantifying my notifications and reminders.
I think it’s quite a stretch for the general consumer, but for your average technophile, untethering from the computer as much as possible is a good thing. Though, I suppose this makes me more of a qual than a quant, and the quants are going to be keen to having a flock of birds on their desks chirping at them.
It goes without saying that anyone that has been involved with any solid password encryption system, aside from my brother and the other individuals out there with a keen photographic memory, has written or typed those passwords down in a place to pull up and look at when time to use them. With multiple login accounts, all requiring a password change every 30 days or so, one would be hard pressed to remember something along the lines of HF&*78ls#@… or 5 variations of that for 5 separate, work related uses.
To that end, DARPA is looking into a password that unlocks what is locked via recognition of your typing style versus an actual password string. Sounds great for the sober office setting. Not so great for you late night drinkers looking to do a little drunk emailing with fumbling fingers.
The PatchWerk Controlled Synthesizer
I found this to be pretty fantastic. Via a project called PatchWerk, you can control one of the biggest synthesizers in the world, housed at the MIT museum, from whatever computer you are sitting in front of. PatchWerk’s interface makes all the magic possible, and the synthesizer itself is ominously beautiful. I especially found this description of the feeling you get from it quite accurate:
In the era of glossy iPad apps and slick soft synths, there is something strangely romantic about being able to work remotely with a hulking mass of analog hardware, which weighs hundreds of pounds and fills up an entire room.
I suppose the best feeling would be to be able to sit right in front of it with a laptop and hear the immediate results of your tinkering via the PatchWerk interface.
PatchWerk Interface: http://synth.media.mit.edu/synthclient/
Article Link: http://gizmo.do/xrW0A6