More on the theme of ‘Gibsonian-eversion‘ or pushing augmented reality into the physical world, this time a video speculation by Choy Ka Fai of RCA Design Interactions.
This work was part of the “Future of Etiquette” project I worked on with the year one group on the course, to a brief in part from T-Mobile’s design research team in Berlin.
Ka Fai constructed a simple apparatus using cheap laser-pointers that indicated the field of view of a digital camera to those in the surroundings.
In early design probes on the streets of Berlin, one of the most fascinating ‘protocols’ observed by passers-by was how almost universally the use of a camera created a spatial barrier between the photographer and the subject, that, at least for a short period of time, was seen as impassable.
Fascinating, in that most cameras are now digital, and there is no film to be wasted by the incursion of passer-bys in shot as perhaps there was only ten years ago. The etiquette is a hang-over from a previous technology perhaps…
The video below illustrates a period of time in Trafalgar Square, London – imagining that that invisible barrier is made visible – making clear the overlaps, frictions and interactions the cameras could create in such a highly-photographed piece of the city.
I think I’m mostly going to post drawings from my sketchbooks, and talk around those for a while. Since a lot of my thinking starts like this. My sketchbooks are also places where I put ideas that would be too difficult to make, so they just get drawn instead.
I think phones mostly used to look like this:
Now they don’t. During our work for Nokia and my time at the RCA, I developed groups of ideas around phones and how their functionality influences their form. The ideas follow a continuing enthusiasm for celebration of function, something that continues to influence the work Matt and I do.
The first is a sketch of a phone dock that distributes all the things I use in the phone into discrete physical instances locally. Pretty self descriptive really, a receipt printer pushes out text messages as they arrive. To make a call, stamp out the number, or add a name card from the Rolodex, then pull down on the indicator lever, the end blinks while it rings and snaps back when the phone returns to idle or someone answers.
This phone explores the keypad unlock function. As it opens from its locked down position, the screen opens like a flower and all the buttons turn over like little Porsche* headlamps. Locked down, it is completely flush and faceless, no risk of pocket dialling, but fragile, mechanical and slim when open.
*(is it Porsche or am I revising history?)
Hands free sets feel quite unsatisfying. Wouldn’t it be better if your phone came with an extra hand? This phone comes with a small robot arm (plugged into your data port), to hold your tea, or mangle paper clips while you are listening to your voice mail. Definitely needs to be more exploration of robot arms in the future.