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Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire, and the Internet of Things

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In the tradition of Who Owns the Future? and The Second Machine Age, an MIT Media Lab scientist imagines how everyday objects can intuit our needs and improve our lives. We are now standing at the precipice of the next transformative development: the Internet of Things. Soon, connected technology will be embedded in hundreds of everyday objects we already use: our cars, wal In the tradition of Who Owns the Future? and The Second Machine Age, an MIT Media Lab scientist imagines how everyday objects can intuit our needs and improve our lives. We are now standing at the precipice of the next transformative development: the Internet of Things. Soon, connected technology will be embedded in hundreds of everyday objects we already use: our cars, wallets, watches, umbrellas, even our trash cans. These objects will respond to our needs, come to know us, and learn to think on our behalf. David Rose calls these devices—which are just beginning to creep into the marketplace—Enchanted Objects. Some believe the future will look like more of the same—more smartphones, tablets, screens embedded in every conceivable surface. Rose has a different vision: technology that atomizes, combining itself with the objects that make up the very fabric of daily living. Such technology will be woven into the background of our environment, enhancing human relationships and channeling desires for omniscience, long life, and creative expression. The enchanted objects of fairy tales and science fiction will enter real life. Groundbreaking, timely, and provocative, Enchanted Objects is a blueprint for a better future, where efficient solutions come hand in hand with technology that delights our senses. It is essential reading for designers, technologists, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and anyone who wishes to understand the future and stay relevant in the Internet of Things.


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In the tradition of Who Owns the Future? and The Second Machine Age, an MIT Media Lab scientist imagines how everyday objects can intuit our needs and improve our lives. We are now standing at the precipice of the next transformative development: the Internet of Things. Soon, connected technology will be embedded in hundreds of everyday objects we already use: our cars, wal In the tradition of Who Owns the Future? and The Second Machine Age, an MIT Media Lab scientist imagines how everyday objects can intuit our needs and improve our lives. We are now standing at the precipice of the next transformative development: the Internet of Things. Soon, connected technology will be embedded in hundreds of everyday objects we already use: our cars, wallets, watches, umbrellas, even our trash cans. These objects will respond to our needs, come to know us, and learn to think on our behalf. David Rose calls these devices—which are just beginning to creep into the marketplace—Enchanted Objects. Some believe the future will look like more of the same—more smartphones, tablets, screens embedded in every conceivable surface. Rose has a different vision: technology that atomizes, combining itself with the objects that make up the very fabric of daily living. Such technology will be woven into the background of our environment, enhancing human relationships and channeling desires for omniscience, long life, and creative expression. The enchanted objects of fairy tales and science fiction will enter real life. Groundbreaking, timely, and provocative, Enchanted Objects is a blueprint for a better future, where efficient solutions come hand in hand with technology that delights our senses. It is essential reading for designers, technologists, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and anyone who wishes to understand the future and stay relevant in the Internet of Things.

30 review for Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire, and the Internet of Things

  1. 5 out of 5

    Muath Aziz

    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic"   - Arthur C. Clarke Well done, David! Enchanting comprehensive thought-and-imagination-provoking beautifully-structured book. ----- Part I: Four Futures The future of technology is defined by four categories (they will converge by time): Terminal World (screens), Prosthetics/Wearables (that give us to superpowers, reading glasses improve your sight), Animism (animated computers; fancy way of saying robots), and Enchanted Objects "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic"   - Arthur C. Clarke Well done, David! Enchanting comprehensive thought-and-imagination-provoking beautifully-structured book. ----- Part I: Four Futures The future of technology is defined by four categories (they will converge by time): Terminal World (screens), Prosthetics/Wearables (that give us to superpowers, reading glasses improve your sight), Animism (animated computers; fancy way of saying robots), and Enchanted Objects (everyday objects get superpowers, just like folklore, flying carpets and speaking mirrors, or your umbrella knowing it's going to be rainy tomorrow lol). Currently our lives are dominated by Terminal World, which is filled with so many issues yet it continues to thrive because it's profitable for these traditional companies. "I call the future defined by [glass slab devices like iPhones and HD LCD screens] Terminal World, because the interface is captured on a pixelated screen. In the early days of computing, those screens were called terminals, the 'last inch' where machine met human." "The smartphone is a confusing and feature-crammed techno-version of the Swiss Army knife, impressive only because it is so compact. It is awkward to us, impolite, interruptive, and doesn't offer a good interface for much of anything" ----- Part II: Six Human Drives Technology design should be inspired by folklore, enchanted objects that fascinated us for centuries, wishing wands, flying carpets, whistles and horns to summon help.. Imagine having animated brooms and talking mirrors! "What is the most natural way for human beings to interact with technology without requiring a new set of skills or constantly needing to learn new languages, gestures, icons, color codes, or button combination?" Why so many new technologies fail? Learning curve is big issue for sure, but more important, it has to satisfy a deep psychological needs that can be categorized into six types: Omniscience (to know all, Human-to-World connection): to see the unseen. A needle to show you which way is north, a needle that show you what time is it, a needle that shows you the temperature, video recording and broadcasting (to see the past and the present). Our hunger for knowledge! Telepathy (Human-to-Human connection): to know what's going on in the minds of other people. Language (speaking your mind), lie detectors, Skype, Facebook. We are social creatures! Safekeeping (protection from all harm): weapons (harm others before they harm us), Harry Potter's invisibility cloak (avoid harm), car and shop cam (accountability, who stole?), gps locator for cars and phones (guard and track), perhaps mythical horns that call for help (phone emergency call), door locks and keys. Immortality (long quantified life): mythical elixir, medicine, health wrists (just knowing your doctor is watching your health makes you do healthier things, sentinel effect, that's why they are careful in doing studies since subjects know they are being studied, kinda like placebo effect), quantifying food consumption and walking steps (Nike+ wrist watch and smart shoes, gives motivation to eat less calories and walk more, thry have to be of passive data capture and unavoidable display like buzz or color) Teleportation (friction-free travel): Mythical flying carpets, driverless cars, first class airlines (travel as destination). Expression (the desire to create): art and music, writing, twitter, Photoshop (high learning curve), legos (low learning curve), Guitar Hero (reversed learning curve, the guitar you use for the game is an enchanted object), Minecraft. ----- Part III: The Design of Enchantment When technology is talking to us, why aren't we taking full advantage of our senses? Those glass slabs talk using vision and barely voice. Imagine a tight suit that can use your whole skin as a channel, when your right butt cheek is pressed it means the stock market is down. It can be used both ways, scratching your right butt cheek gives the command to sell shares. NSFW. What about the other way around? What can technology sense? More of the light spectrum (x-rays and radio waves), accurate acoustics (hearing low earthquake sound waves). Digging deep into Enchanted Objects, they're seven abilities that are unique to them and not found in the other three futures: Glanceability: instead of checking the stock market every five minutes, you put a small orb that glows red or green in different intensity to tell what's going on with the stock market. The orb is only there to get your attention only when your attention is needed. It's very easy and quick and nondistracting to grab our subconscious attention with colors (red light when the building is on fire), shapes, and smell (gas leaks are smelly). Gestureability: "another inherent aspect of enchanted objects is that we instinctively, naturally know how to interact with them. They are familiar objects, augmented". Amazon trash can that bar scan what you throw and reorder for you, if you wanted it not to order the item you just threw, kick the trash can! Affordability: technology is so cheap and keeps getting cheaper, companies can focus on enchantment without compromising. Wearability: technology is getting so small, wearable technology is getting ever so feasible. Indestructibility: "enchanted objects can almost laughably inexpensive and remarkably durable, much more so than an iThing, which is optimized for portability. Like woodworking or metalsmithing  tools, they can be made almost impervious to wear and last for decades". Usability: the most delightful enchanted services work on your behalf, with minimal interface. Like an old chair, their use is self-evident. They have a patina of wear just like an old pair of gloves that proudly shows its heritage. They don't need an on/off switch and don't require care and feedback". Loveability: "enchanted objects must connect emotionally... As we become surrounded by more and more connected things then they must be aware of each other, wait for their turn to speak, and understand their relative importance to us". ----- What are the levels of enchanting an object? Five Steps on the Ladder of Enchantment (product to service to experience): Connection (sensors connected to cloud), Personalization (leveraging personal information), Socialization (connecting to friends), Gamification (adding the fun and motivational elements of video games, turning life into an rpg basically lol), Story-ification (adding human narrative for the product or user). "To keep such systems in the realm of enchantment, rather than in the Big Brother zone (reference to 1984), the information must remain under the control and ownership of the individual, not the company". "In the Thingiverse, objects can be treated as equal as humans. They can post, tweet, or swap data. They may connect with using their own voices. In the garden, plants will call for water when they need it, inform us when their fruit is ready for picking... Your recycling bin and solar panels will post their data and compare your progress with your environmentally minded friends". ----- Part IV: Enchanted Systems Applied enchantment, enchanting our homes, offices, and cities.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Alexander

    Enchanted Objects has a fascinating idea and offers fun ways of thinking about technology. It's a useful book to help us think through the a-building Internet of Things. That idea is that we can move away from our digital screens, and shift some attention productively to other digital devices("the smartphone... is a dead end as the human-computer interface" (7), also known as "The Terminal World"). David Rose fills his book with the titular objects, "modest, bespoke devices" (110) ones which comm Enchanted Objects has a fascinating idea and offers fun ways of thinking about technology. It's a useful book to help us think through the a-building Internet of Things. That idea is that we can move away from our digital screens, and shift some attention productively to other digital devices("the smartphone... is a dead end as the human-computer interface" (7), also known as "The Terminal World"). David Rose fills his book with the titular objects, "modest, bespoke devices" (110) ones which communicate and otherwise interact via lights, sounds, vibrations, and shapes. There are wallets that change shape as the holder's balance grows or contracts (49). There's a medicine bottle's top which glows to suggest pills must be taken (127, 130). A simple sphere glows to indicate some change in information (77) and a doorbell emits different sounds depending on who presses it (91). A new bus sign displays approaching bus data in a clear, even "calming" way (174, 242). A cabinet contains a variety of live Skype channels, each locked to a specific person (183). I enjoyed thinking through how such objects work, especially since Rose explains them very clearly. Enchanted Objects loves its charts and infographics. Part of the book breaks down how humans might appreciate objects being enchanted through different primal, even mythic desires they embody: omniscience, telepathy (including empathy), safekeeping, immortality, teleportation, and expression (61ff). Later Rose offers a nice table of signaling levels, from impacts that are preconscious (color, scent, temperature changes) to the apparent, then insistent (ringing, changes to motion) (128ff). He organizes final chapters by anatomizing an object by its loveability, usability, indestructability, glanceability, gestureability, and affordability (171ff). Looking towards the future, Rose thinks objects will be classified as calming, on-demand, casting digital shadows, learning, hackable, and subversive (249ff). Most appealing to me, one chapter describes rising human interest in an object along a sequence of connection, personalization, socialization, gamification, and ultimately story-ificiation (194). These are useful and accessible ways to approach a wide range of technologies. Rose offers some intriguing observations which, although I disagreed with them, appreciated thinking through. For example, in a discussion of information and device overload, he mutters (or I imagine him muttering) "We don't want augmented reality, we want diminished reality."(25) Elsewhere we learn that "things will have the capability to cavort, coordinate, learn, and heal" (210); what a fascinating vision, so far largely inaccurate, but entertaining and inspiring. "We will have fewer devices with singular control, and more swarms of functionality": this depends on an awful lot of things happening, from production to infrastructure, which this design-focused book doesn't really address (266). "We want to have everything, yet own nothing" is also entertaining, but very silly in the face of things humans tend to *not* want to cease owning: cars, houses, special clothes, my books (252). So why do I not joyously rate this book with five enchanted stars? Too many reasons. First, the author makes a creator's classic mistake of assuming everyone else wants to create like they do. I think the evidence indicates that the majority of people will happily consume (or ignore) these objects, and not want to hack them (257). Indeed, having to hack them will irk. Second, Rose begins by opening his vision across a wide range of human behavior, from empathy to storytelling to crime... but collapses nearly everything into shopping. By the book's end I felt I was being led to some posthuman Skymall, where each possible configuration of any object in the world led me to buying something. On reflection, I find no room in this book for the commons, and little interest in mere sharing. Speaking of vending, the book is very concerned with Rose's projects. This isn't a bad thing in itself, but the sheer repetition of "I made this", "I made that", "my brilliant friend came up with another thing" palls over time. I did appreciate Rose's attention to his students' work. "I made this company", "I started another company" made me think I was reading a Fast Company profile. Third, there's little sense that anyone else has thought about these things. Aside from a welcome evocation of Mark Weiser (51), Rose seems to be working in a scholarly void. Fourth, this book is a celebration of creativity, which is excellent. Yet it tends more towards cheerleading and less towards realism. Specifically, Enchanted Objects gives off a vibe of powerful objects for powerful people. There isn't much awareness of the non-wealthy public. It's very much MIT and Silicon Valley, and not enough of the 99%. If we fulfill Rose's charge and freight the world with enchanted objects, who gets to own them, and who's left out? This discussion fades before the glossy appeal to buy more stuff. Like many fantasy texts (and this one has frequent nods to magic, wizards, superpowers) it ultimately ends up on a conservative mission. For some readers this political aspect won't be relevant. For them, and for everyone else who can focus, for the moment, on the book's vision and design brilliants, there is much to enjoy in Enchanted Objects.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tao

    The author linked technologies to six basic human drives: - Omniscience: To Know All - Telepathy: Human-to-Human Connections - Safekeeping: Protection from All Harm - Immortality: A Long and Quantified Life - Teleportation: Friction-Free Travel - Expression: The Desire to Create Then the author went through many examples, mainly prototypes developed in MIT’s Media Lab. Next, the author proposed seven abilities of enchantment: - Glanceability - Gestureability - Affordability - Wearability - Indestructibility - The author linked technologies to six basic human drives: - Omniscience: To Know All - Telepathy: Human-to-Human Connections - Safekeeping: Protection from All Harm - Immortality: A Long and Quantified Life - Teleportation: Friction-Free Travel - Expression: The Desire to Create Then the author went through many examples, mainly prototypes developed in MIT’s Media Lab. Next, the author proposed seven abilities of enchantment: - Glanceability - Gestureability - Affordability - Wearability - Indestructibility - Usability - Loveability Looking towards future, the author talked about the new drives that can be satisfied by enchanted objects: - on-demand objects - calming objects - hackable objects - learning objects that learn - objects with digital shadows - subversive objects Overall, it's a quite readable book, though the picture painted by the author is a bit too rosy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andy Oram

    Visionary books are difficult to write; an even greater degree of difficulty comes when the author gives the readers footholds on which to take the vision even farther on our own. I think Rose has succeeded both in laying out an awe-inspiring vision of useful computer technology and in encouraging us to develop our own. His objects exist not just to be efficient or entertaining, but to help people achieve more or what they want to achieve. His short chapters and almost obsessive lists (human dri Visionary books are difficult to write; an even greater degree of difficulty comes when the author gives the readers footholds on which to take the vision even farther on our own. I think Rose has succeeded both in laying out an awe-inspiring vision of useful computer technology and in encouraging us to develop our own. His objects exist not just to be efficient or entertaining, but to help people achieve more or what they want to achieve. His short chapters and almost obsessive lists (human drives, traits of useful objects, etc.) make the book easy to read--and more important, allow us to follow his conceptual leaps in an incremental manner. I do wish Rose had followed through more on one key concept--the concept of a "digital shadow," whereby the computer in each object consults data stored elsewhere in order to make intelligent decisions. That's actually more central than he suggests to the success of his vision. He also could have tempered his enthusiasm with a recognition of how difficult it is to create software that responds to the complexity of its environment and of human desires, which enchanged objects must do.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sevan

    Interesting ideas but intellectually lazy with a strong hint of typical Silicon Valley solutionism that sees tech and Big Data as solutions to all real and non-existent problems...Tech / Big Data for the sake of tech / Big Data...Never mind solving deep institutional and systematic problems, "enchanted" tech will save the day by numbing and treating the symptoms so we forget about the real causes and disease. Solutionists always take the easy route by not caring much about the problem and being Interesting ideas but intellectually lazy with a strong hint of typical Silicon Valley solutionism that sees tech and Big Data as solutions to all real and non-existent problems...Tech / Big Data for the sake of tech / Big Data...Never mind solving deep institutional and systematic problems, "enchanted" tech will save the day by numbing and treating the symptoms so we forget about the real causes and disease. Solutionists always take the easy route by not caring much about the problem and being overly excited about the tech-enabled solution, but wait I need to take a break to get my steps in or my "enchanted" Fitbit experience will suffer!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sweemeng Ng

    On one hand, it shows how one can design a hardware devices to enhance objects, limitation of screen and even robotics. The author shows what make a user use a smart devices. Area that is under explored. As a person that hack on arduinos, esp8266 and the raspberry pi, I can appreciate this. On the other hand, the future he describe is have consequences. These enchanted objects can improve service, but what is not covered is using this as a facade to cover issues. Arguably the author also suggest On one hand, it shows how one can design a hardware devices to enhance objects, limitation of screen and even robotics. The author shows what make a user use a smart devices. Area that is under explored. As a person that hack on arduinos, esp8266 and the raspberry pi, I can appreciate this. On the other hand, the future he describe is have consequences. These enchanted objects can improve service, but what is not covered is using this as a facade to cover issues. Arguably the author also suggest having expert that is not just technologist to involve in implementation.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    People come first. Technology should anticipate and respond to our behavior-computers ought to be learning how to speak Human, not the other way around. That's the argument David Rose makes in Enchanted Things. He imagines a world where the objects we use every day are imbued with seemingly magical properties, a world where they speak to one another in the digital shadows, a world where our tech asks politely for our attention rather than demanding it. While it is a glimpse into the future alread People come first. Technology should anticipate and respond to our behavior-computers ought to be learning how to speak Human, not the other way around. That's the argument David Rose makes in Enchanted Things. He imagines a world where the objects we use every day are imbued with seemingly magical properties, a world where they speak to one another in the digital shadows, a world where our tech asks politely for our attention rather than demanding it. While it is a glimpse into the future already on our doorstep, Enchanted Objects is also an open-minded investigation into what it means to be human. Before getting into the specific advancements being made, Rose asks his readers to think about some of their most-beloved works of fantasy and the trinkets that helped the hero achieve his quest or fend off the fearsome foe. And why start with make-believe? Because storiability, as Rose calls it, is a key feature our tech ought to possess. We are, after all, story-tellers and story-makers before we are anything else. From the umbrella that glows and urges you to take it with you when rain has been forecast to the glowing replacement cap for the amber medicine bottle that relays important medical information and reminds patients to take their pills, the Internet of Things is becoming our new reality. We must proceed with caution and not lose a fundamental understanding of our desires in the process. I appreciated Rose's adamant dismissal of the "Black slab" throughout the book. It could be a phone he's referencing, or a tablet or a screen into which we are urged to stare. It's ultimately distracting, requires us to give up something of ourselves, and takes longer than necessary to use to any real effect. I do think Rose is overly-optimistic that the new tech he imagines will be used responsibly. I would have liked a little more focus on the human factor, to be honest. What safeguards will need to be considered in order to insure objects are "used as intended"?And while he suggests that any enchanted object that will stand the test of time will need to encourage socialization, more energy seems to be given to the potential for personalization. He speaks of a future where we don't need to step into stores anymore. Where we don't need dedicated workplaces. Where our possessions isolate us from the necessity of interacting in all of the ways we interact now. It isn't a future I can imagine wanting to live in. Rose does recognize counterarguments to his various assertions, but he doesn't spend enough time taking them seriously. While Enchanted Objects is written with designers and futurists in mind, it is accessible and engaging enough for anyone interested in the myriad ways that tech-imbued things will come to dominate our homes, workplaces, and communities at large. A compelling read if you are into that kind of thing.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Sankey

    Since humans started telling stories, we've hopefully imbued inanimate objects with our fondest desires--that they do our work, keep us safe and comfortable, and allow us to have powers unavailable to a human. Rose tracks the ways in which real objects--from eyeglasses to tasers, follow these contours, often, like cell phones and Star Trek communicators, inspired by or invented in close association with fictional/wishful ones. Rose is writing as a very optimistic visionary, so his thinking is mo Since humans started telling stories, we've hopefully imbued inanimate objects with our fondest desires--that they do our work, keep us safe and comfortable, and allow us to have powers unavailable to a human. Rose tracks the ways in which real objects--from eyeglasses to tasers, follow these contours, often, like cell phones and Star Trek communicators, inspired by or invented in close association with fictional/wishful ones. Rose is writing as a very optimistic visionary, so his thinking is more "what can it do for us" than "how can this be exploited by someone?" (incidentally, also a big part of human storytelling about things).

  9. 5 out of 5

    Collin Bell

    All the enchanted objects in this book seem kindof gimmicky, however, I think there might be a good business model in producing these enchanted objects in an open source fashion despite that. Sometimes people like gimmicks. Note: This book was written by a developer of lego mindstorms. Obviously not all his ideas are gimmicks :)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Florin Pitea

    Nicely written, well documented, aptly illustrated, relevant for current trends in the Western world. Recommended.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Phoenix

    Magic Mirrors MIT media lab guru and serial entrepreneur David Rose takes us on a whirlwind tour of internet connected objects looming in our near future. Not a fan of the ubiquitous "glass slabs" that make up our laptops, cell phones tablets and soon our watches, Rose offers alternative possibilities such as bottle tops that glow to remind you to take you medication, self driving cars with heads up displays, smart transportation grids, ingestible sensors and ambient lighting that use brightness Magic Mirrors MIT media lab guru and serial entrepreneur David Rose takes us on a whirlwind tour of internet connected objects looming in our near future. Not a fan of the ubiquitous "glass slabs" that make up our laptops, cell phones tablets and soon our watches, Rose offers alternative possibilities such as bottle tops that glow to remind you to take you medication, self driving cars with heads up displays, smart transportation grids, ingestible sensors and ambient lighting that use brightness and colour to signal changes in weather, the stock market or wearable devices that give you a little hug every time your Facebook account gets a "like". It's really two books: the first, telling you about different kinds of innovations are out there, is only so so. The problem with seeking to impress with the latest technology such as NEST thermostats and physiological monitors such as Nike Fuel Bands is that the novelty is rapidly outdated as the products become better known and turned into commodities. The other, more intriguing book is about principles of design. While acknowledging there are downsides such as the misuse of ubiquitous surveillance and the public leaking of private data, Rose believes that "enchanted objects" powered by inexpensive sensors will draw us in with its ability to tell us about ourselves, our environment and by connecting us others on as needed basis. However Rose is a minimalist. Good design should inform, not just dazzle. His example of a bus stop that glows more intensely as the bus gets closer is really not much better than the yellow warning of a stoplight. As a commuter I find a pixel board displays showing expected arrival times far more useful than a mere glow and the recent low tech innovation of countdown pedestrian crossing signals more informative as to how much time one has when approaching a light. Another miss is that Rose is one of the few who actually likes the new Windows user interface (pp177), which has bombed in the market place. On the other hand fashion store mirrors that record and display you in the various outfits you've tried or presents an outfit in different colouration or settings seems like a pretty cool idea. IMV Rose is too optimistic. Like any sector of the economy, a large percentage of items and services in the Internet of Things space are going to fail either by poor timing, not finding the right niche and poor execution. Not everyone is motivated by gamification which is to say getting reward points or badges in every activity and my reaction to the "quantified self movement" of continuous self monitoring is that it's narcissistic and therefore quite limited as a trend. However my best friend liked the book and thought it helped her make sense of current trends.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I listened to the audio book and it's quite different. I do not like the term "enchanted" for the description of devices that belong to the category IoT (Internet of Things). I will admit that the author does explain some historical, cultural television shows or movies to explain to the listener why he uses the word enchanted. I would have preferred the word connected objects. David Rose seems both creative and logical and appears to be the type of person who uses both sides of the brain while I I listened to the audio book and it's quite different. I do not like the term "enchanted" for the description of devices that belong to the category IoT (Internet of Things). I will admit that the author does explain some historical, cultural television shows or movies to explain to the listener why he uses the word enchanted. I would have preferred the word connected objects. David Rose seems both creative and logical and appears to be the type of person who uses both sides of the brain while I tend to be more logical and use my left brain much more than my right brain. The author talks about the Pebble Watch and one or two other companies or connected devices which have already gone out of business which I find interesting. Other product ideas which I really thought would not sell well include the smart trash can that populated & keeps track of a grocery list as you discard items, a smart bird feeder that lets the owner know when birds are feeding, a smart fork that keeps track of number of times used and perhaps calorie intake were three ideas that I don't believe would sell well if they were products on the market. One must consider the disposable income of the consumer, the bandwidth of the internet, and the cost & size of the devices. I did like the glow cap and the data supporting that it helps patients remember to take the medications and compliance rates were significantly higher than without the glow cap. I wonder if David Rose is behind or has been involved with the weight loss Nooma app targeted towards Millennials since he mentioned he worked on some similar projects? I do like the story about the MIT office space where he works and the cameras and community spirit regarding leaving things unlocked and open and if something goes missing it is generally found within a few hours because someone borrowed it and forgot to leave a note. The entire book was quite esoteric in my humble opinion and I cannot recommend it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nolan

    This will be an unfortunately short review. Essentially, this is the author’s perspective of how our world will look over the next few years with regard to how we interface with seemingly ordinary things. I guess I was turned off by the book because of what I saw as an obsession with things visual. Lots of space given to heads-up glasses, all kinds of razzle-dazzle screens, even digital signs. In all fairness, he does give a parenthetical tip of the hat to braille in signage in the short section This will be an unfortunately short review. Essentially, this is the author’s perspective of how our world will look over the next few years with regard to how we interface with seemingly ordinary things. I guess I was turned off by the book because of what I saw as an obsession with things visual. Lots of space given to heads-up glasses, all kinds of razzle-dazzle screens, even digital signs. In all fairness, he does give a parenthetical tip of the hat to braille in signage in the short section on digital signs. The guy clearly has the street creds to write this; I’m not doing it justice. I wish someone else would read this and perhaps do a more even-handed job than I’ve done. It’s just that somehow it already feels outdated to me; I kind of yawned my way through much of it. I hope your experience hugely differs from mine; indeed, I’ve no doubt it will.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Barcus

    Frodo, Sting, and The Hobbit. C-3PO as a Swiss-Army Knife. Frankenstein the monster. Some of the most basic popular culture references were bungled (and how did an editor not pick up on these?) which was distracting, to say the least. Another, very easily researched error was stating that automobiles led to reduced use of front porches and a decrease in the relationships fostered by porch-to-porch, porch-to-sidewalk human interactions. It was air conditioners. The final thing that stood out to me w Frodo, Sting, and The Hobbit. C-3PO as a Swiss-Army Knife. Frankenstein the monster. Some of the most basic popular culture references were bungled (and how did an editor not pick up on these?) which was distracting, to say the least. Another, very easily researched error was stating that automobiles led to reduced use of front porches and a decrease in the relationships fostered by porch-to-porch, porch-to-sidewalk human interactions. It was air conditioners. The final thing that stood out to me was the lack of any serious consideration for the real side-effects that IoT/Smart Technologies could have and how it could negatively impact individuals and societies. Otherwise, the book was pretty insightful and worth reading if you're interested in design. Though I do wonder if it was written in 2019, if some of my issues would have included.

  15. 4 out of 5

    The Book Grocer

    Purchase Enchanted Objects here for just $8! A pill bottle that lights up to remind you to take your medicine; specialized doorbells that ring to the tune of the family member coming home. These are just some of the fascinating everyday objects on the drawing boards for the future. Gadget fiends, design freaks and the tech curious will love David Rose's engaging and intriguing book. Rose draws on his own personal experience as a product designer and entrepreneur to present his vision Purchase Enchanted Objects here for just $8! A pill bottle that lights up to remind you to take your medicine; specialized doorbells that ring to the tune of the family member coming home. These are just some of the fascinating everyday objects on the drawing boards for the future. Gadget fiends, design freaks and the tech curious will love David Rose's engaging and intriguing book. Rose draws on his own personal experience as a product designer and entrepreneur to present his vision of human computer interaction. Paul, The Book Grocer

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Hulick Hulick

    This book definitely achieves it's goal: "to change the way you think about computers and computer-driven things and how we interact with them." Technology can make magic happen in so many intriguing ways - from umbrellas that tell you if it's going to rain to medicine bottles that remind you to take your pills. These both already exist. This was an exciting tour of magical objects that already are possible to create, as well as a glimpse at what could be possible in the future. This book definitely achieves it's goal: "to change the way you think about computers and computer-driven things and how we interact with them." Technology can make magic happen in so many intriguing ways - from umbrellas that tell you if it's going to rain to medicine bottles that remind you to take your pills. These both already exist. This was an exciting tour of magical objects that already are possible to create, as well as a glimpse at what could be possible in the future.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brigid Hogan

    A very hopeful imagining of the evolution of technology in order to supplement and enhance the human experience, rather than control or replace it. A strong argument, though increasingly repetitive as the book goes on. Engaging and readable, an essential perspective in any debate on technology's role in the world. A very hopeful imagining of the evolution of technology in order to supplement and enhance the human experience, rather than control or replace it. A strong argument, though increasingly repetitive as the book goes on. Engaging and readable, an essential perspective in any debate on technology's role in the world.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Xavier

    A great many ideas, but it does conveniently circle around issues such as privacy. In the end, the author's distortion field makes him write a soon-to-come ideal world, where the current harsh reality is anything but. Thus, while ideas are great, tough to see them become tangible without any mischievous scheme behind. A great many ideas, but it does conveniently circle around issues such as privacy. In the end, the author's distortion field makes him write a soon-to-come ideal world, where the current harsh reality is anything but. Thus, while ideas are great, tough to see them become tangible without any mischievous scheme behind.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Wayne Geiser

    A lot of very interesting ideas. Small criticism: most of the examples seem to be from his own companies/background. After a while I was beginning to wonder if anyone else was trying to guide us into the "new world." Still, a very worthwhile and thought provoking read. How about an update so that it could mention stuff like Alexa? A lot of very interesting ideas. Small criticism: most of the examples seem to be from his own companies/background. After a while I was beginning to wonder if anyone else was trying to guide us into the "new world." Still, a very worthwhile and thought provoking read. How about an update so that it could mention stuff like Alexa?

  20. 5 out of 5

    Yen Lian

    Haven't had quite a refreshing read for a long time. It's comforting to read that sometimes my crazy ideas aren't crazy after all but they could be ideas for enchanted objects! Hope one day the objects around us can be easily programmable so we can adapt them to our mode of living and be augmented by them. Haven't had quite a refreshing read for a long time. It's comforting to read that sometimes my crazy ideas aren't crazy after all but they could be ideas for enchanted objects! Hope one day the objects around us can be easily programmable so we can adapt them to our mode of living and be augmented by them.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    It's interesting, but at a price. For every good idea there's a mention of the author's light up umbrella or glowing orb. At times it can be painful, but understandable, like a good app with ads. Still worth a read. It's interesting, but at a price. For every good idea there's a mention of the author's light up umbrella or glowing orb. At times it can be painful, but understandable, like a good app with ads. Still worth a read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michael Reibel Boesen

    Great book on designing useful objects from before before IoT really took off.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    A delightful vision for how technology can be integrated into our life and world to make things more whimsical and unobtrusive.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Chinmaya Behera

    Interesting book with solid concepts complemented by real examples from the future of technology. However, if one is up-to-date with technology, the book might feel quite outdated.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    Interesting for the most part. Skipped over some of the repetitive overly descriptive parts.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Timothy

    Seemed like an ad for his inventions. The future will be that everything needs a battery, even an umbrella.

  27. 5 out of 5

    sarah y

    as a fan and avid reader of adam greenfield, this did not go over well

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ab

    Interesting ideas, though some are now a bit dated

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rhys Davies

    The kind of book that makes you seriously consider changing your whole life path. If you're into technology and devices and IoT type stuff. The kind of book that makes you seriously consider changing your whole life path. If you're into technology and devices and IoT type stuff.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sergey Kochergan

    Magic of everyday things around us New approach to innovation of interfaces in new digital era

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