Tree Voice: Providing Environmental Engagement for Neighborhoods (Austin)
Tree Voice collects data on variables such as motion, temperature, noise, and pollution, all from a series of sensors placed on a tree. This data is used to make the tree “speak” through light and iconic images. The interactive display provides anyone the opportunity to engage with the tree and receive updates on their local environment. Citizens can also view the data through an online dashboard, which gives information about all the connected trees. The data can help in making decisions as basic as where to go workout in the evening or as substantial as where to buy a house. Eventually, Frog Austin sees trees having a voice in local government, and becoming influential in planning future cities that are data rich and environmentally intelligent.
CompassGo: Guided Serendipitous Urban Exploration (Milan)
Frog Milan created CompassGo to help users discover unexpected places in an age where city-dwellers often pre-Google their destinations instead of exploring. When held in the hand, the device suggests and guides them through urban discovery by using smart-phone-synced personal data, GPS technology, and physical signals. The device reveals a general category – such as culture, food, or relaxation – before providing navigation to a hip clothing store, hole-in-the-wall café, or super-secret winery.
Assignment 5: Response to You Are What You Carry
At the start of the chapter, I did not expect the author to also classify digital objects as your own personal belonging. It feels like a belonging is something that we attach meaning to, and develop a “relationship” with (i.e. a wallet received on your 18th birthday, or a phone bought with your first pay). And the author moves on to describe belongings bought over the internet or in the stores as data companies keep track of. They then use this knowledge to predict future purchases or to suggest new products. Things that are supposedly our private possession becomes less of a secret.
Technology has changed the way we own things, store things and perceive these things. I remember that I took a long time to adapt to the use of loyalty cards stored on the phone using an application. But after a while, the term “out of sight, out of mind” proved its point. I never remembered the digital cards, but the ones which I saw in my wallet every day.
Ultimately, we would never be able to escape technology’s pervasive impact on current society. However, I think the physical realm still carries a certain richness and depth that the digital cannot replace.
Digitalisation clears up physical space but lets us possess more. Does it cause us to have so many things to handle till the disadvantages of this technology outweigh its benefits?
Does over-convenience empower us or make us more handicapped? (less need to move around to get items, more reliance on technology to help us make decisions)