my antidote to the hectic environment i work in is to find a calm space and quietly read the paper at lunchtime. its funny the things you pick up as you pick through the stories, but today a small story about an “oversized vacuum cleaner” totally threw me. i’m so happy, as from what i can infer the researchers who developed the key enabling technology for a design project of mine have made it out of the laboratory and into the real world.
its hard to explain just how much this moves me. it wasn’t just any project, the nine-months i spent in 2000 on my master-of-arts project was the most rewarding experience of my ‘working’ life. i was devoted to a first principles reworking of how technology can enhance the experience of visiting a museum - i had essentially taken a masters course in product design just to be able to continue my earlier work where i’d glimpsed the potential. it was stimulating, i was making a difference, it felt worthwhile - we invented a whole new paradigm for human-computer-interaction, your granny could use it, and museums fulfilled their promise to be the ideal environment to incubate these technologies in. unfortunately, though perhaps not particularly surprisingly, the real world tends not to have too much room for the blue sky working of that kind of academic space, no-matter how grounded in deployable reality, and so i’ve always felt slightly forlorn that the ideas and innovations developed in that time have sat on the shelf.
well, today, somebody got there, made it happen. i’m happy for them, for the ideas, and for the people their work is going to help.