Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Digital Innovation of everyday things: New, Copy, Paste, Search, Save, Print, Send, etc.

With the ongoing proliferation and immersion of digital technologies into everything we use, we often wonder how the future of the things we use would look like. While it is not possible to predict this, it is possible to think about it. Chance favors the prepared mind.

Take the digital camera. The way we now go about with taking and sharing pictures is quite different from how it used to be with the film camera. One of the influences has been the information technology, in fact the digital camera probably has more in common with a computer than with a film camera. This also means that a lot of functionality associated with computers has entered the world of digital photography like ‘save,’ ‘copy,’ ‘delete,’ metadata, etc.(and we expect that this functionality works in a way similar to a computer environment, e.g., a perfect copy with one click).

One of the ways of thinking about how digital technologies influence everyday things, may be to apply these notions of computer functionality to them as a thought experiment. For example, what would ‘new’ mean in relation to a digital fridge. I could mean that it registers every new product I put in. Or I may be able to ‘search,’ by asking it if there is any fruit left or how much fruit has been consumed in the last week. I may also be able to ‘save’ so I can see overtime what has been in my fridge.

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