Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Mike Kuniavsky is a writer, researcher and designer exploring the intersections of high technology and everyday life. People around the world use Mike’s 2003 book, 'Observing the User Experience,' to understand the relationship between people and products.

His talk was a somewhat speculative presentation tracing some of the history of appliance design and how ubiquitous computing may change that. In his talk, he presents the history of blender controls as an example of the encapsulation of knowledge into our tools. He then showed several examples of how networked kitchen devices may (or may not) present a fundamental shift in the nature of how we relate to our kitchen tools:

"Imagine that every time you used this [networked, barcode-reading microwave], it quietly told a database somewhere--say, in your iPod--how many calories you just ate. Then your iPod could query your shoes about how much you had run the previous day. The next time you went for a run, your iPod would pick songs with a different tempo to encourage you burn off that Mac and Cheese. Now that’s starting to get interesting. It is now possible for our tools to automatically encapsulate knowledge and share it with each other."

[+ presentation]
[+ orangecone]
[+ taste3]

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