One cannot wait to grow up and finish school. One graduates from an obscenely expensive university with a brain full of sophisticated knowledge and embarks on professional life with the greatest of expectations. And what could happen next? One ends up laying Lego bricks in order to develop strategies or to find a solution to a stalemate situation! Sounds a bit far-fetched? Well, it isn’t, really. Helping to clear corporate obstacles out of the way playfully is what the methodology thought up by the Danish toy-brick company is all about.Reading time: about 2 minutes
One wonders why things already bulging at the seams have to be inflated out of proportion until – worst case and poof! – they are blown to bits. Take FIFA. Poof! Or the stock market. Or diligent kids having to excel on an ever wider field until poof! their attitude-refusal-button is activated and stays triggered seemingly forever. Take parts of the body high and low – enlarged to gigantic enormity until, oops, poof! and ouch! … And – greetings from the Princess and the Pea in Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy-tale – take the fashionable box spring bed with mattress over mattress forming layer over adventurous layer. Aerial ladders will soon have to be employed to conquer the silly tiered pile and safety nets mounted for the restless sleeper. If it makes poof! then, there won’t be much space left for the debris to disperse. Just beware of the springs!Reading time: about 3 minutes
Assumedly, the main purpose of a banana (cucumber, zucchini, etc) is to be relished at some stage. Yet, young American inventors Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum have contrived a new means of putting them to use: by eliciting from them authentic musical sounds, like for instance, those of a piano.
A dollop of wobbly jello does work as well and a great number of other materials also prove to be conductive: most fruits and vegetables, shrimp or pizza pie (although some may consider that a bit yucky). Plants will do fine and play-doh (given a certain degree of moisture) and metal objects such as foil, cutlery or pots. Even simple thick lines drawn on a smooth surface with a soft graphite pencil can do the trick – so can live people. What in God’s name are we talking about? A kit called MaKey MaKey.Reading time: about 2 minutes
Former US Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore presents drastic examples on how man-made forces are gradually destroying our planet. „After World War II, the emission rates started really accelerating. And the accumulated amount of man-made, global warming pollution that is up in the atmosphere now traps as much extra heat energy as would be released by 400,000 Hiroshima-class atomic bombs exploding every 24 hours, 365 days a year – a fact-checked over and over again.“
Still Al Gore is optimistic that climate change can be tackled. But how?Reading time: about 1 minute
Computers can do a million different things and run a million different applications. Yet, they have the same static physical form and the same static interface elements as well: computers don’t allow us to interact with our hands and capture the rich dexterity that we have in our bodies. Sean Follmer’s belief is that new types of interfaces can capture these abilities, that they can physically adapt to us and thus allow us to interact in completely new ways.
Sean Follmer is building a future with machines that bring information to life while you are working with it. Watch this amazing video!
Sean Follmer is a human-computer interaction researcher who designs shape-changing and deformable interfaces. An Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University, he teaches the design of smart and connected devices and leads research at the intersection between human-computer interaction (HCI) and robotics.
Header image: Screenshot from TED video.Reading time: about 1 minute