Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Designing Sensual Interfaces

Chris Woebken is a student at the Royal College of Art in London who creates innovative design and media concepts.

In one of his inventive video works, a man sits in front of a computer screen. On the desk, rather than a typical QWERTY keyboard, is a pile of linen seeds—some loose, some formed into blocks. His hands quickly sort the tiny grains and then feed a piece of paper into one of the blocks, the particles sucking it in like an ATM card. This scene, from Woebken’s short film “Nanofutures: New Sensual Interfaces,” explores a “what if?” scenario for possibilities in nanotechnology and “organic electronics.” (The seeds simulate something called “smart dust”—basically, tiny sensors that can communicate with each other wirelessly.) With New Sensual Interfaces, Woebken proposes technology at a micro level, demonstrating that in the future, nanoparticles will behave like cells, assembling and multiplying to create products built from the same basic units of information.

This will seem like simply fantasizing an imaginary science fiction scenario unless you do some reading about the incredible potential of nanotechnology. Some incredible ideas are more possibly real than we imagine. Watch how the pile of linen seeds is reconfigured to make a call, print a document, and finally send items to the trash and save some work on removable storage.

Click on the heading above to see the video.
Check out Chris' work at www.woebken.net

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