antlion

industries

3D T.V.


3D television is not the next big thing. Click through to watch these goobers and their silly glasses in action.

Via Devour.

Craig Mod on Books in the Age of the iPad

Excellent and thoughtful consideration of the relationship between content and its container (books, periodicals, digital devices, etc.) and the future of ink and paper books in light of new technology. This post is a bit old now, but I was reviewing some old bookmark links (via Instapaper, which I love) and I remembered my favorite part about this article. Not only am I a bit of a book junkie - like him, I love what he calls the "sexy-as-hell tactility of those little ink and paper bricks" - I'm also a designer, and in the realm of brick and mortar. At the end of his article, he predicts the future of book making, and I was struck by the strong correlation between his views on books and my views on buildings and cities. His words:

"I propose the following to be considered whenever we think of printing a book:

The Books We Make embrace their physicality — working in concert with the content to illuminate the narrative.
The Books We Make are confident in form and usage of material.
The Books We Make exploit the advantages of print.
The Books We Make are built to last. (Fig. 9a, 9b)

The result of this is:

The Books We Make will feel whole and solid in the hands.
The Books We Make will smell like now forgotten, far away libraries.
The Books We Make will be something of which even our children — who have fully embraced all things digital — will understand the worth.
The Books We Make will always remind people that the printed book can be a sculpture for thoughts and ideas.

Anything less than this will be stepped over and promptly forgotten in the digital march forward.

Goodbye disposable books.

Hello new canvases."


Think about real places versus digital places. This same battle is raging everywhere you look. Think Barnes & Noble vs. Amazon, CD Warehouse (remember?) vs. iTunes, Blockbuster vs. Netflix, etc. The list is long (SEE ALSO). In light of new technology, brick and mortar places seem to have a diminishing value. When everyone is highly mobile and communication to anywhere in the world is effortless and instant, it leaves little incentive to invest in an actual place, whether it's a city, town, or neighborhood.

I respect what Mr. Mod is saying about books: when we no longer need to make them, we will choose to make them and their design will communicate their value. In the same way, in an age in which we no longer need to build great cities or great buildings, I hope that when the rare opportunity to make a great place or to build something that will last comes along we'll be able as a society to rally around the cause and pour in the money and talent and great energy required to do so.

I would love to be able to say "Goodbye disposable buildings" or, even better, "Goodbye disposable cities" but I don't know if or when it's going to happen.

SEE ALSO: All through college I wrote papers about extreme cases of digitized experiences nullifying the need for real spaces. One of the best examples I found was a drive-thru viewing before a funeral in California. Mourners had to wait in line, not to see the body of their dearly departed, but to see a live video feed of the dearly departed, and all from the detached comfort of their car. Who needs a funeral home, right? Who needs a space crafted to offer comfort and solace and warmth and shelter to the grieving? I suppose the only people who need such spaces are probably too busy to ignore the time saving advantages of a drive through.

You should probably look at all of Craig Mod’s stuff. It’s all good, and this especially is beautiful to read and to look at.

Skinput vs. Sixth Sense



Skinput:
Seems silly to define inputs based on the sound and vibrations caused by tapping specific parts of your arm. People are fat, skinny, muscular, flabby, and so on; it seems like the variety would quickly overwhelm this system, or at least severely limit it. And from a usability standpoint, it would be extra frustrating if a button didn't give you the desired result and you knew it was your fault because you made the wrong noise with your chubby arm.



Sixth Sense:
Some of the usage examples are kind of silly, but wow. I'm not too excited about all of the new augmented reality stuff happening, but sometimes I'll see something that I think might look like the future. I love TED.

Skinput via Spatial Robots

HP Knows the Future



I saw this ad on Hulu while watching the pretty excellent and intentionally goofy new show Marriage Ref. I guess they're trying to get a little bit of money out of the touch buzz that Apple's got going right now.

That tagline at the end - "Touch the Future Now" - is ridiculous. They've had this device for a couple of years now, right? And it's still crazy thick.

On a related note, I actually did touch the future on Saturday...it's called iPad.

My Building - A Tragedy

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My fourth year of college, I had a project whose hypothetical site was located right next to this building in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. Ever since, I have been secretly conspiring to go back and buy it and resurrect it. It's old, crappy, and busted up, the huge windows are boarded-up, and it's a pretty crummy location, but that doesn't matter. If I restore it, they will come. And by "they" I don't mean stupid yuppy loft seekers; I mean all of the cool places that I want to hang out at night and on the weekends when I move into my awesome old building in downtown Birmingham. If I'm able to buy the building and I do a good enough job, I don't see any reason why other folks won't flock to my side of town to participate in the next great urban revival, right? Right?

Unfortunately, while doing research for one of my forthcoming LifeLesson stories (searching for pictures of an old mill where I nearly died one time), I found this photo in some random stranger's photostream and my hopes were dashed. Turns out, the front fell off because of a storm, and thank goodness I haven't made my millions and bought that building yet, or I'd be pretty put out.

Image property of Flickr user “buildinghugger”.