Prototypes are usually the missing links in the evolution of human technology, the dead-ends of ideas that give way to the refinement of the final physical product. Prototypes aren't just for Darth Vader
. While the legal back and forth between Apple and Samsung continues, a treasure trove
of prototype designs
for Apple devices has been released to the public, showing insights into various design approaches and feature enhancements, including larger form-factor
and without kickstands
and landscape ports
and iPhones that parody the Sony logo
, show a different layout for camera elements
, and look remarkably like fourth-generation models
, as far back as 2005. On the other hand, some have made prototypes into the end goal itself, such as the folks at Dangerous Prototypes
, a site which features a new open-source electronic hardware project
each month. Some are just gratuitous fun
, while others are a bit more practical, such as one project that recycles old Nokia displays
and another that provides access to infrared signal
, useful for hacking together remote controls for all sorts of IR-based devices. Other prototypes of tomorrow's technology
are less concerned with shrinking down the guts of the invention itself, to make it disappear, but rather on how
with and integrate
physical representations of these ideas into our daily lives. Above all else, prototypes are always forward-looking and are therefore inherently optimistic expressions of human creativity: Even children
are getting into imagining the world of tomorrow.
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Aug 1, 2012 -
A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design
- "The next time you make a sandwich, pay attention to your hands. Seriously! Notice the myriad little tricks your fingers have for manipulating the ingredients and the utensils and all the other objects involved in this enterprise. Then compare your experience to sliding around Pictures Under Glass. Are we really going to accept an Interface Of The Future that is less expressive than a sandwich?"
posted by Defenestrator
on Nov 9, 2011 -
The New Aesthetic For a while now, I’ve been collecting images and things that seem to approach a new aesthetic of the future, which sounds more portentous than I mean. What I mean is that we’ve got frustrated with the NASA extropianism space-future, the failure of jetpacks, and we need to see the technologies we actually have with a new wonder.
posted by jack_mo
on Jun 17, 2011 -
The past century . . . is rich with examples, both poignant and tragic, of technological possibilities not realized. On 1 September 1939, a decision was . . . taken by our species to spend five trillion dollars and expend ~72 million human lives. This decision was followed in 1947, and repeated at intervals until 1991, to expend an additional ~12 trillion dollars, and perhaps another 1-2 million human lives. . . . In the midst of the first of these costly escapades, on 15 March, 1944, the architect of the German V-2 rocket, Wernher von Braun, was arrested by the Gestapo on charges of high treason for having privately expressed regret, after dinner at a colleague’s home one evening the previous October, that he and his team were not working on a spaceship . . .
From a wide-ranging essay by Mike Darwin on the future that wasn’t
. (Note: Site doesn't seem to display properly in Internet Explorer)
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear
on Jun 7, 2011 -
"Forget everything you did today. Clear your schedule and spend the next half hour watching this video
. It’s a presentation by Jesse Schell, founder of Schell Games
and former creative director of the Disney Imagineering Virtual Reality Studio. A veteran game designer, he is also on the faculty of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University.
In a talk at the DICE 2010 conference held last week in Las Vegas, he gave a presentation called Design Outside the Box. It is the most mind-blowing thing I’ve seen in a long, long time. And while this presentation was about the future of games, Schell could very well be talking about the future of technology."
posted by erikvan
on Feb 23, 2010 -
Acclaimed writer Bruce Sterling is back for his annual State of the World interview
in The WELL's inkwell conference. It's a must-read. The first question comes from Cory Doctorow who asks him to help him plan for the future now that Cory has a kid, etc. Sterling's answer is hilarious, biting, and brilliant all at the same time. And that's only the beginning...
posted by brianstorms
on Jan 6, 2010 -
Miracles You’ll See In The Next Fifty Years
Some more up-to-date predictions: science
, space travel
, mental health
, smart machines
, robots, mind uploading
What is your prediction
posted by MetaMonkey
on Oct 5, 2006 -
Robots vs. bunnies!
Dust bunnies, that is. Roboticist Rodney Brooks
, who you should know because you should have seen Fast, Cheap and Out of Control
, co-founded iRobot
, which is releasing its first consumer model this week: Roomba
, the vacuuming robot. Even once you've seen it in action (which, of course, I haven't), it's probably not going to convince that the future has arrived or get you thinking about the moral rights of robots
, but every consumer tech movement has its watershed, and maybe this will turn out to have been a Big Step for getting robots in our daily lives. The author notes that iRobot "hopes that one day Roomba will do for vacuuming what dishwashers did for dishwashing."
posted by blueshammer
on Sep 16, 2002 -
Miracles of the Next Fifty Years
-- a reprint of an article from the February 1950 issue of Popular Mechanics. At times laughably naive, other times pretty accurate (the author predicts that cancer won't be cured by 2000, but it won't be far off), it's a fun piece of George-Jetson-meets-Ozzie-and-Harriet gee-whizness.
posted by RylandDotNet
on Jun 2, 2001 -
Critical review of the U.S. military.
As someone with an interest in the military (my brother is a fire-controlman on the guided missile cruiser Vella Gulf
), I like to see someone taking a serious look at what the future will bring on the warfare front. Maybe it'll help us avoid things like this(1)
(1): Mogadishu, Somalia
(2): Sinking of H.M.S. Prince of Wales and Repulse
posted by CRS
on Mar 30, 2001 -