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4. Intertwingled > 4.5. Exports

Exports

We will experience a growing trade deficit with cyberspace as we deposit far more data than we can ever withdraw, but that’s not to say that exports won’t be equally fascinating as we design new interfaces to networked information. After all, the future of interface is not just about huge flat panel monitors and tiny PDA screens. It’s about listening to your car navigation system. It’s about reading the New York Times on e-paper. And if David Rose has his way, it’s about feeling your email. Let me explain.

I first met David Rose in 2002 at the AIGA Experience Design Summit held at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. David is founder and chief creative officer of an MIT startup called Ambient Devices . At the conference, he captured our attention with a brilliant show-and-tell featuring a colorful array of products and prototypes. First up was a beautiful frosted glass orb that slowly transitions between thousands of colors to show changes in the weather, traffic, or the health of your stock portfolio, shown in Figure 4-16. Simply plug the orb into a power outlet, and it’s instantly up and running on a nationwide wireless network. Then, visit Ambient’s web portal to customize your orb. You can even track news, pollen forecasts, and the presence of colleagues on Instant Messenger. Designed to leverage the cognitive psychology phenomenon of pre-attentive processing, this crystal ball delivers glanceable, back-channel information. This is calm computing at its best.


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