Exciting feature today in The New York Times Home & Garden section. Read it here.
The book hits shelves on Tuesday, July 15, and I will be making the rounds across the U.S. over the next few weeks, speaking at a variety of events. I would love to see you at one of them:
- July 15 @ Bolt with other IoT makers in Boston, MA
- July 17 @ Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, MA
- July 22 @ Keplers Books and Magazines in Menlo Park, CA
- July 24 @ University Book Store in Seattle, WA
- July 31 @ Google in Boston, MA
There are some additional event details on the Enchanted Objects Facebook page.
My co-teacher was Adrian Westaway, an official member of the Magic Circle, a secret society of magicians founded in 1905. Yes, they were aware of the workshop. Adrian trained at the Royal College of Art and now runs a physical-computing consultancy with brilliant projects like this Lego calendar. read more …
One of the biggest challenges of writing Enchanted Objects was organizing the ever-growing list of enchanted objects. Since I argue that we find these objects enticing due to our innate psychological needs, it seemed most logical way to organize them by universal human drives. These drives have animated my own research–they are the fundamental human behaviors that make us tick, and they deserve the primary focus of product designers, technologists, and entrepreneurs.
- Omniscience. The desire to be all-knowing.
- Telepathy. The desire for human connection.
- Safekeeping. The desire to be protected.
- Immortality. The desire to be healthy, strong, fully capable, and vital.
- Teleportation. The desire to live unconstrained by physical limits.
- Expression. The desire to create, make, and play in every form and media. read more …
The era of the McMansions is drawing to a close and people are flocking to urban centers, seeking the economy, convenience, and green living that only a city can offer. But many of us still want the ease and luxury of all that space we’re leaving in the suburbs. Enter: CityHome, a new microapartment invented by a team at the MIT Media Lab that offers transformer technology and home-scale enchantment. CityHome is an incredibly efficient and inexpensive fifteen-by-fifteen-foot space that automatically transforms to accommodate everything you might need to do in your personal space: study, exercise, lounge, entertain, eat, and sleep. All without compromise.
Over the past year, I’ve helped invent a first-of-its-kind wearable device called SunSprite. It’s a small clip and connected app that helps people measure their daily exposure to bright light. Like a FitBit for the sun. But it never needs to be charged–it gets its energy from the sun, just like you and I.
The company was founded by two Harvard psychiatrists who ardently believe that most people would benefit from more sunlight to improve their energy, ability to focus, overall mood, and nightly sleep quality (by resetting their circadian rhythm). read more …
My recent interview with Bruce Gellerman on the power of ambient technology to enact change in our energy consumption.
“We have this big field in our peripherial vision that we are all born with. It’s a reptilian feature, really, that can pay attention to motion over there, or color over there, or the angle of something over there, or the pattern of something over there. This is what cognitive psychologists called preattentive processing. You can do it in parallel while you are having a conversation, while you are reading. We like data in our periphery and it doesn’t slow us down.”
Why Apps Will Leap Off The Screen And Into Our Lives
Imagine a chair that plays your Pandora music, a kitchen cabinet that instantly connects you to a loved one, a trash can that reorders household essentials via Amazon… The things we live with are getting smarter. Here’s why:
The app glut problem
Apple just passed 25 Billion app downloads. My iPhone and iPad groan everytime I download a new one. We’re overloaded. As apps proliferate, they become less findable. And the harder they are to find, the less we end up using them. Seriously, how many screens full of 16 apps do you have on your iThing? For me it’s 11 screens x 16 apps (not counting folders) = 176. Locating the right feature at the right time is a big mental map to maintain. read more …
Last year, I worked with Kendra Markle, an expert on behavioral change, who worked with Kaiser Permanente and with BJ Fogg at Stanford’s Persuasive Technology Lab. Together we designed an executive watch to help business people become more productive and healthier by managing their stress. I’d love your feedback on our design!
Stress makes you stupid
Chronic stress raises blood pressure, causes insomnia, impairs concentration–it makes you stupid. When the flight or fight response system is activated it shuts down digestion and cell growth, suppresses the immune system, and overrides higher brain function. This system was optimized to prioritize outrunning a saber-tooth tiger, but living with chronic stress day after day may be just as lethal. read more …