Tag: Sentient Spaces



As our everyday living spaces are packed with electronics and become increasingly sentient, we might one day wake up in a house that knows more about your family’s state than you do.

Designers James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau (remember their lustrous audio tooth?) are investigating if such technology would be helpful or too invasive. Their HappyLife project consists of a visual display linked to the thermal image camera, which employs facial recognition to differentiate between members of the family.

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ECO Currency – A Proposal to Balance Economical and Environmental Value

Imagine we would have an alternative monetary currency for environmental value. Would the rain forest still be destroyed if there existed an ECO–currency to express its value and pay farmers to let the trees stand? Designers of the Next Nature Lab are investigating how we can link economy with ecology. A proposal on how we can link economy with ecology.

The starting point of the ECO–currency(*) project is the hypothesis that an important factor in the ongoing environmental crisis is the disconnect between the economical ecology and the environmental ecology. With the latter we mean the ecology of plants, trees, animals, and other organic material. Whereas the economical ecology is defined by our financial system of market, money, goods and other economical exchange. Our second working hypothesis states that we could address environmental issues by linking the economical sphere and the environmental sphere in a better way than that is currently the case.

Comparing the two ecologies: The rain forest is a stable, self-sustainable and threatened ecosystem, whereas the financial system is a unstable and threatening ecosystem that feeds on the biosphere.

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Harddrive on legs

Drive Legs is a portable hard drive which stands up if liquid is spilled near it. Created by James Chambers, who is experimenting with giving products defense mechanisms to maintain their functioning…

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Sentient Spaces

Miniature Sensor Network for the Office

“Have you seen my stapler? No, but just look it up on Google home office maps.”

CSIRO Researchers have developed miniature sensors that track lab equipment, coffee mugs and staplers in the office.

The sensors are called Fleck Nano and were build on CSIRO’s existing Fleck technology that is being commercially produced for monitoring cows on farms.

Fleck sensors collect data like location and temperature. They form an ad-hoc mesh network, and communicate with static nodes and each other via radio waves.

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Monitoring your computer’s activity like a frog pond

Multi-touch designer and developer Richard Monson-Haefel considers sound as an important part of our user interfaces. As an application of “Calm Technology” which revolves around giving feedback about the running state of a system in the ‘periphery’ of our consciousness – a concept introduced by ubiquitous computing pioneers Mark Weiser and John Seely Brown – he proposes to attach a sound to every process running on your computer: an unique croak, chirp or trill – the sounds of frogs, crickets, and cicadas of a small pond at dusk. Resulting in an ambient environmental murmur people should be able to interpret.

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Friendly Vending Machine

Designer Guus Baggermans was quite annoyed by the clumsy impoliteness of current vending machines, that typically require you to enter some abstract number to select your drink or candy, which is then rudely dumped in the bin at the bottom of the machine – forcing you to bend down to get your treat. He decided to design something better.

For his master graduating project at TU/e Industrial Design he created a vending machine that should interact with the customer on a more ‘human’ level. Inspired by his colleagues Chris Heger and Sjef Fransen, who during a workshop created a hilarious scenario on future food that would fight for the customers attention (crappy video alert), Guus arrived at his concept of a ‘Friendly Vending Machine’.

As you walk by the machine, the cans will follow you and try to get your attention. The user can interact without using any buttons, or browsing menus. Once you decided which drink to buy you slide a coin in the machine after which the tube ingeniously slides opens – It is almost like a ballet – allowing you to grab your treat.  The machine is adjusted to recognize a potential customer at a distance of six meters.

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HP Computers are Racist

These two co-workers found out the face tracking feature of the utterly advanced HP webcam will not recognize or track black faces. Hewlett Packard says it’s because the program doesn’t respond to…

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Back to the Tribe

The Playboy Interview

In 1961, the name of Marshall McLuhan was unknown to everyone but his English students at the University of Toronto — and a coterie of academic admirers who followed his abstruse articles in small-circulation quarterlies. But then came two remarkable books — The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962) and Understanding Media (1964) — and the graying professor from Canada’s western hinterlands soon found himself characterized by the San Francisco Chronicle as “the hottest academic property around.”

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Time pilots us…

You step out of bed. Why? Because your alarm clock tells you it is time. A quick glance at the alarm clock tells you that you are still on schedule. First you…

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Sunflowers – electric gardening

A retail lot in Austin, Texas recently sprouted a field of solar photovoltaic sunflowers that soak up the sun’s rays to provide shade while generating a steady stream of electricity. Although the…

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Placebo Buttons

Buttons are everywhere: throughout your day you press them on phones, alarm clocks, keyboards, elevators, dishwashers and of course on the computer screen. Although buttons did not exist in old nature – taken that nipples do not count as buttons – the little symbols of control have been ubiquitous throughout most of our lives. But for how long?

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Back to the Tribe

Wifi Dowsing Rod

Today’s technology advances so rapidly that people are often unable to update their media schemas in time and as a result are left cluelessly in awe of it all. Mike Thompson’s Wifi…

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Boomeranged Metaphors

Google ‘Opt Out’ parody

The Google Opt Out Feature Lets User protect their privacy by moving to a desolate village where the are guaranteed an environment free from Google products. Participants will expected to know how…

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Running on non-newtonian fluid

These dudes from the Spanish TV show El-Hormiguero mixed cornstarch and water made on a concrete mixer truck, effectively creating a pool of non-newtonian fluid – which is almost like normal water,…

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brainwave binoculars

Brainwave Binoculars

The eye passes on more information to the brain than the brain will process. In that sense, the brain functions as a filter. But on the battlefield the risk of neglecting information…

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Water Shows When the Heat is On

Designer Carlijn Compen upgraded her watertap with some LED’s that shift color along with the heat of the water. A simple yet effective example of information decoration that will seamlessly fit in…

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