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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