segunda-feira, 13 de outubro de 2008

Nanotechnology and Nokia Morph Concept

It has been a long time now since Nokia presented the Nokia Morph concept video, sharing their vision about how nanotechnology could be used on future communication devices.

I first saw it mentioned in IxDA discussion group. At that time I wrote my impressions about it, and today I got back to it for some reason, and I thought it would be nice to share it with those who eventually read this blog. So, quoting myself:

I was very impressed with the video. Not because of the product itself, but for the possible applications that I could imagine after seeing it. I’m not familiar with nanotechnology, but it seems to me that it is another step towards accomplishing a pervasive/ubiquitous computing world.

It seems to me that nanotechnology would make it possible to really think about embedded computers. Any sort of object could have some kind of “computer” on it. Clothes, glasses, wires…any object could became “smart”.

You may ask: is that something we would want?

I guess we already do! Just look around…

There are some key values that I see in our lives that would be enhanced with this technology.

Information is one key value. We design information systems. We design tools to make easier to find and use information. We produce information. We share information. More than ever, we consume information.

Another key component of our lives is mobility. To be able to access, to communicate, to connect with each other in different spaces is something that is vital to many of us today. Twittering on the way home. Checking emails at the airport. Taking pictures, sending them to our Flickr account in real time etc.

Still we have to deal with many devices that are not so different from our desktops computers. Laptops, iPhones…these are different sizes of a not so different conceptual product. We still have to fous very hard on the object to use it. It still demands our attention. They concentrate hundreds of functions, programs. They are more likely a swiss knife. Many tools in one device.

I guess with nanotechnology we would be able to create products that could rely on a “calm technology” approach, to quote Mark Weiser…As any object can have an “embedded computer”, being able to access information, to exchange data within the environment and within other objects, we start to have dynamic contexts of interaction. Our products could “sense” the environment, and respond to it. Change under the influence of the context. Less effort from us.

Nanotechnology is definitely not only about mobile phones. That is Nokia business, so that’s how they see it.

Nanotechnology is about wearable computers. Hands-free devices. Dynamic environments that change upon your influence.

The interaction benefits I can imagine for nanothecnology are beyond my wildest dreams. :-)

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