Technology Heirlooms video of talk at PSFK’s Good Ideas Salon

PSFK posted the video of the talk I gave recently at their Good Ideas Salon in London. It’s about 30 minutes long and covers some of our thoughts in Cambridge around how people get sentimental about objects, particularly heirlooms, and how that might apply to digital and technological objects in the future.

During the editing they seem to have replaced the Photosynth that I originally used (of a Guitar workshop) with the one from Obama’s inauguration, which changes the context a little (since I was really talking about capturing sentimental spaces).

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More TechFest coverage

Nice article by Angela Gunn at BetaNews, that mentions Timecard, CellFrame and Family Archive, which we showed recently at Techfest (see my overview):

“SDS has a knack for developing humble gadgets that you wish someone would sell you right here, right now; I personally yearn for my own Whereabouts Clock, which I believe I last saw in the Arthur and Molly Weasley home. As with almost everything at TechFest, nothing’s certain to see daylight and everything’s likely to change. Still, I came away from Cambridge’s booth more than ordinarily wishing that I already had the option to interact with technology the way they envision me doing, and glad they made the trip to Washington.”

Microsoft Research finds future value in family history

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Good Ideas bake-off

A bit weird this. I did a talk a few weeks ago at an event in London organized by PSFK, the trends/blogging group based in NY. The event was called The Good Ideas Salon.

They haven’t posted video of my talk yet, which is apparently coming. In the meantime, though, they are doing a strange series of votes on the ideas presented at the event.

First they did a vote between four of the ideas I presented, as well as giving general feedback from the blogosphere on my talk (which was basically about Technology Heirlooms):

http://www.psfk.com/2009/02/audience-thoughts-on-richard-banks-good-ideas-talk.html

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Now they’re doing a run-off between the “winner” of the first round, the one about saving stories through services (which was actually less an idea than an observation) and three other ideas that came from other speakers and panel sessions.

http://www.psfk.com/2009/03/your-favorite-ideas-from-good-ideas-salon-london.html

Feel free to vote if you want. My wife did (I can’t bring myself to – feels like cheating). After she voted she got the tally and it looks like “my idea” (which is not in any way an original one) is in the lead :-)

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NOTEBOOK 98-3 « LEBBEUS WOODS

Lebbeus Woods, the architect, has started a series of posts on his notebooks. It sounds like this was a practice he went through and “finished” at some point, before moving on to other ways of working. That’s a little disappointing and goes against what I see as a lifetime practice. Still, I guess that depends on what activity replaced this form of sketching. Probably another form of sketching.

I loved this quote:

“Notebooks are portable. They can be kept secret, or published. Technically, they are simple to make. Pen and paper. The hand, eye, and thought. Freed from any sort of burdensome apparatus, thought becomes more agile in confronting itself.”

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NOTEBOOK 98-3 « LEBBEUS WOODS

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Press coverage of TechFest 2009

I mentioned during last week’s summary of our Techfest Booth that I’d write down a list of the coverage we got.

A lot of this focussed on the Family Archive, designed as a piece of furniture into which a family could store their shared digital media, as well as shots of physical things, for reminiscing and story telling. It’s an interesting piece of work, with an expressive user interface based on the metaphor of boxes and basements.

Here’s some coverage from the Seattle Times. In the video (below) Dave Kirk, who demoed the Archive until his hands were raw, explains the interface to reporter Brier Dudley. Dudley says on his blog:

Here’s another video from Microsoft’s TechFest, showing the "Family Archive" digital scrapbook mentioned in today’s story. (Yesterday I posted this video of the "pinch" control that’s also mentioned.)

Here researcher David Kirk demonstrates the prototype touch-screen photo handling system, then adds a pair of souvenir clogs to the collection:

There’s some decent shots of our work up on the Microsoft Techfest site, actually. These include photos of the Family Archive interface, Timecard (which I was demoing) as well as Wayve and CellFrame (both shown off be Sian Lindley). There’s also a video of Richard Harper showing off SPIBS, Wayve and CellFrame (embedded below).

 

Another great bit of coverage done my Microsoft, actually, was this write up by Rob Knies, who was live-blogging the whole event. You can see more at his "Techfest Live!” blog. Rob goes into quite a bit of detail about Family Archive, Timecard, CellFrame and Wayve. Here’s a quote from me in the article, attempting to tie Family Archive and Timecard together thematically:

"This general theme we’re interested in," he says, "we’re calling technology heirlooms. It’s about just looking at technology generally and saying: ‘What about 30 years’ time? Where will this be? Who will care about it? What will people want to do with it?’"

 

CNET managed to drop in a shot of Stuart Taylor demoing SPIBS as part of this article, although the article itself doesn’t mention SPIBS. On this page there’s more detail about the shot, though. Now that I look closer, I’m actually in the back of that shot, pointing abstractly.

 

This Network World article by Nancy Gohring has a pretty thorough description of Dave demoing Family Archive, including some details of the deployment that we did over the summer. There’s also a good paragraph about Timecard, in which Nancy clearly got the concept that it could be a device for either representing the past as a form of memorial OR recording online activity as a form of future heirloom.

 

Although this TechRadar article by Mike Harris has a title that’s primarily about Photosynth, it also talks in some depth about TimeCard, which was demoed to Mike by Richard Harper. I like Richard’s quote, which is a pretty great summary of the concept.

"The Timecard project provocatively aims to consider the development of technologies that are not built for planned obsolescence, but are built specifically to last and to outlive their owners," says researcher Richard Harper. "Timecard is a device and a service that can create timeline-style records of a person, similar to a ‘baby book,’ but extending throughout life."

 

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This Associated Press article by Jessica Mintz covers Family Archive (also shown in shots 4 and 6), too, and cryptically mentions two other projects that we did, which I’m assuming are Timecard and DION.

“The Cambridge group also showed off a program to help archive digital ephemera, from photos to Twitter messages, along a timeline, and one that "hand-delivers" saved messages and reminders when people with linked Bluetooth phones stand in close proximity.”

Daniel Nicholas at eNews 2.0 also mentions the Family Archive in passing in this short article.

 

Finally, here’s some coverage of Timecard in French, along with the shot from our presspass site, by Julie de Meslon at 01net. Here’s what Microsoft’s translator site made of it:

More pragmatic Microsoft in Cambridge, UK researchers working on digital adaptation of the family album (TimeCard). Applications are still a bit blurry, but the idea is to organize and store digitally memories, events and other stories of family.

On the picture below its achievement in the form of a digital registry based on a timephased wire. TimeCard is only one of the bricks of a more comprehensive research project on sharing information within the family.

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