Insight: biodegradable tangible interface

In the last post I explained that I had several ideas for my master’s project. I discussed it with one of my teacher. This is more related to the duality between art & information. This is linked to the concept of Ambient Display Technologies.

Concept #1

The concept: a website with a 3D object which is degraded by proportionally by tweet streams. The live tweet transmission can be perceived in a tangible way thanks to a real object created with organic materials which is also degraded. There are two aims in this project:

I think it may be a good way to make live tweet data-visualizations more useful. Here it will be a metaphor of the consumption and how a simple tweet, when retweeted 5billions times like #JeSuisCharlie can affect the planet. This isn’t just the electrical cost of a tweet, but this is about the whole system: don’t forget about the servers, datac enters, cooling system, screens displaying the information etc.

Of course this is still the beginning of the reflexion. Now that I have this intuition I’m gathering information to see if it’s a viable way to achieve my idea.


The writing of my dissertation & the ideation phase

My main research phase ended in December. A lot of videos, pictures, articles and books are now in my head and used as references for my dissertation. Today I just ended my first official version of the document. Of course it’s a raw version and the edition of the document will start during February. It’s a relief. But it’s just the beginning from now until the end of June.

My ideation phase which started at the same time as the writing is now more tangible. I created a short document —I will publish the 26 pages soon on Slideshare— with six concepts I had:

  • 2 installations
  • 1 website
  • 1 website and it’s connected object
  • 1 concept of interactive storytelling
  • 1 concept of packaging-free market in partnership with the University of Darmstadt

The last one is still waiting for my school’s approval and I hope that I’ll have an answer at the end of the month. This is a first short at thinking at every possibilities to answer to key concepts of my research such as:

  • the tangible link between humans and nature is too thin
  • people don’t have basic informations about climate change and they developed bad habits and routines through the ages
  • there are ways to make the Internet more tangible
  • the way an information is delivered can change the way we perceive it

I think that I will take some more time to think about other possibilities and I’ll discuss it with my dissertation’s tutor and my professors. You can learn more about my planning for the next few months:

Project Lantern: a good idea ?

I may sound very critical about a project that sounds great. In fact I think that 3 months ago I wouldn’t have thought about it this way. I wouldn’t have asked myself the same questions. The creators of the project describes it like this: “Lantern is an anonymous portable library that constantly receives free data from space”.

So it basically means that you can be everywhere on Earth and have access to the Internet. Yes it does sound great. Censorship ? “internet shields” ? You are lost somewhere ? Lantern gives you the opportunity to reach everyone you want. But now I ask myself: “why would we increase the ubiquitous computing phenomenon in parts of the world where we aren’t supposed to be connected?”. I Believe that we don’t settle in some parts of the world because it’s not made for humanity. Some people adapted to deserts or mountains and have that kind of lifestyle. But they live in synergy with nature.

The LANTERN device

The LANTERN device

Maybe we didn’t go to some parts of the world because we were cut off the rest of the digital world (no internet for example). So basically being able to have Internet everywhere is making mankind able to go everywhere without being afraid of having no connexion. Of course there are already satellites technologies that lead us to communicate with special equipments but it’s mostly restricted to specific actions and missions, justified actions. Here, it’s available for everybody, anybody. Does it mean some tourists could go on hostiles environment now because they always have signal and won’t get lost ? Or someone will always be able to find them ?

I don’t reject the benefits of this type of device because it can help people in need. And lantern doesn’t provide access to every content you want, it connects you to a database of content: music, videos, books, articles, etc. and you can request content. But I use this example to show that there are consequences to the power you give to people.

Check the Lantern’s video here