innovation | July 20, 2014

Making Ordinary Objects Extraordinary: Internet of Things Speaker David Rose in NYT

Internet of Things speaker David Rose is breaking new ground in the field of "enchanted objects"—where everyday items have extraordinary abilities. Rose, who is an instructor and researcher at the MIT Media Lab and the author of Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire, and the Internet of Things, was recently featured in a major New York Times profile. In the great video produced by the NYT for the piece, he gives us a primer on what he expects from the future he envisions: a world of connected objects.

What are enchanted objects?

"Enchanted objects are ordinary things that have the same functionality that they had before, except now they can talk. They're connected. These are ordinary things that have extraordinary capabilities."

The importance of a sense of wonder

"The history of computers has mostly been about efficiency. I think one of the things that's changing is that enchanted objects can be about adding emotion and magic to the fabric of our everyday lives and experiences.”

The simplicity of enchanted objects

"Our devices can be a lot simpler, and our interactions to them can be a lot simpler. The internet-connected umbrella can just be an umbrella that only shows whether it's going to rain. You don't need to tap on an icon, or do anything that seems sort of artificial."

Is there such a thing as too connected?

"Some people might think that a connected home is overwhelming, that there'll be so much information in the connected home that it's just a cacophonous environment and you wouldn't want to live there. But I think about how we decorate our homes today: we put photographs everywhere, we put paintings up, we put post-it notes up. There's a lot of decoration and adornment in the home, and I think if enchanted objects can be designed in the right way, we're going to want hundreds of them around us.”

On the collection of data

“This tremendous amount of data we’re all creating is not necessarily evil. People shouldn’t assume that data is just shared by everyone in the world. I’m sharing data with my father because it’s important to both of us. In many cases, having this digital portrait of yourself is a really powerful tool for reflection and change.”

To find out more about Rose and the Internet of Things, watch the video embedded above. To book David Rose as a speaker for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency.

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