Inventor and M.I.T. Media Lab researcher David Rose coined the term “enchanted objects” to describe ordinary objects with extraordinary functions.
These objects are not only fun but also may hold the key to a better way for humans to use new technology — as opposed to what Rose considers a bleak future in which every tool will be crammed into a computer screen.
Rose, whose gadget-filled home was recently featured in The New York Times, has a new book called, “Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire, and the Internet of Things.”
We’ve compiled 15 of the coolest enchanted objects currently in existence. Many of these aren’t available on the market yet, but they offer a glimpse into what the future has in store.
The Google Latitude Doorbell, created at the MIT Media Lab, chimes a tune when a family member is approaching the house. Each family member has their own tune.
Not widely available.
SunSprite is a small clip that measures the amount of bright light you take in during the day, in order to help you improve your energy levels, sleep cycle, mood, and more.
The Facebook Coffee Table, created at the MIT Media Lab, listens to your conversations and displays photos from your Facebook page whenever they are appropriate to the conversation. For example, if I mentioned 'New York City,' photos from my trip to New York would pop up.
MemoMi is a mirror that records the outfits you try on, so you can compare them and decide what to buy or wear.
The Amazon Trash Can, created at the MIT Media Lab, scans any objects you're throwing away and automatically re-orders them from Amazon.
The Pandora Chair, created at the MIT Media Lab, plays different music based on your level of incline. If you're sitting upright, the chair will play upbeat music. If you're leaning back, it will play something peaceful.
Vessyl is a smart cup that identifies what kind of liquid you're drinking and lets you know how many calories and how much sugar, fat, protein, sodium, and caffeine are in that drink.
The Skype Cabinet, created at the MIT Media Lab, allows you to simply open a wooden door and connect to a friend or loved one via Skype. A proximity sensor allows the cabinet to glow when a friend is available.
TrakDot is a luggage tracker that you place inside your suitcase. You can then see the location of your luggage by using the Trakdot app, which connects to the tracking device.
The Energy Clock, created at the MIT Media Lab, gives you feedback about how much energy you're using in your household. Wedges of colour appear to show you whether you're over-spending or under-spending on energy, and by how many hours. A red wedge means you're over, while a green wedge means you're under.
The Goji Smart Lock allows you to lock and unlock your door with your smartphone. You can also give friends and family the ability to unlock your door by sending them a message to their phone. Goji also takes photos of who is at your door, and sends you alerts when your door has been unlocked.
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