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Best. Coffee. Table. Ever.
January 28, 2004 7:14 AM   Subscribe

The Drift Table lets you float gently over the British landscape from the comfort of your living room. Other projects from the Equator research group include a tablecloth that glows and a key table that responds to your mood. Hi-tech knick-knacks, or a glimpse of the subtle way we'll interact with the domestic environment of the future?
posted by jack_mo (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Slight disclaimer: the Drift Table is being installed in my bedroom so that someone from the Equator group can study my responses to it over the next six weeks. Funny old world. (And I hope this doesn't count as a variety of self-linking.)
posted by jack_mo at 7:20 AM on January 28, 2004


Hi-tech knick-knacks, except the tablecloth, which is an interesting idea.
posted by nicwolff at 8:14 AM on January 28, 2004


I think the table is pretty neat.
I'd like to see one with some sort of upward projection instead of the little porthole, but that might ruin the subtlety of the device.

I also like the mood keytable. I have lots of notions for "mood" devices around the home. I've always thought of having devices that sense mood and then either reinforcing or attempting to alter it with music, lighting, temperature, aroma...etc. The Mood warning is a funny twist on it as well.
posted by Jeffy at 8:59 AM on January 28, 2004


I'd be interested to hear how the drift table is in practice, jack_mo. It's certainly uncomfrotable enough looking in the photos - the one fellow's hunched over, squinting at the teeny little screen under the circular cutout... I would have preferred a table-top sized representation that moved very, very slowly.
posted by JollyWanker at 11:06 AM on January 28, 2004


I really don't want my furniture to know, or care about, my moods, but it's interesting stuff.
posted by amberglow at 12:12 PM on January 28, 2004


This was my first impression: it looks like a WWII era bombing bay. The UK certainly has a traumatic history of that in its collective social experience.
posted by stbalbach at 12:22 PM on January 28, 2004


I want sentient furniture that walks and which will follow me around, tiptoeing quietly behind and ready at a moment's notice to fling itself under my butt as I sit down on what would otherwise be thin air.
posted by troutfishing at 6:09 AM on January 29, 2004


Then again, maybe not. That could get really annoying really fast.

What I would REALLY like would be sentient furniture which would be capable of one thing only : when my rebellious little dog (who really needs to have his testicles liberated from his body) begins to piss on couch or chair legs, the furniture will turn on an electric current which zaps him right where it hurts.

_______________________________________________

Meanwhile, these products described in the post all sound to me like high tech knicknacks.

But the key pad reminds me of Philip K. Dick's worlds which were populated with interactive beds, refrigerators, apartment doors, and so on. In Dick's reality, though, those were sentient pay-as-you-go appliances owned by private corporations. So Dick's charactors were always arguing with his appliances, asking them for a little extension of credit so he could, say, get into his apartment or open his refrigerator when he was broke. The great thing was that the appliances all had strong, annoying personalities and would give lectures (I seem to remember) on personal responsibility.

Dick's "mood organ", on which one could "play" various moods, was like a reverse version of this mood-keyboard. I believe Dick wrote of this "mood organ" in "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep". His lead charactor, noticing that his depressive wife has programmed her "mood organ" to run a long self-accusatory depression, asks her to set the organ to some more positive mood, at which she threatens to reset the mood organ for something like a "towering righteous rage" which would feed a hellatious epic marital fight. He backs down, leaves her to her self accusatory depression, and goes off to work - to hunt down and kill escaped manufactured humans (androids) .

Dick had a number of wives.
posted by troutfishing at 6:39 AM on January 29, 2004


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