An addicted insider’s account of our real lives in the era of the realtime, social web.

When the Cloud is in Your Nightstand Drawer

The Information Ecology group at MIT is thinking of and prototyping tools to re-connect your increasingly cloud-based personal information and social interactions to the physical environment in which you live.

Imagine a wallet that can give you periodic updates on your finances and even tighten around your cash when your account balance is low.

Maybe you and a group of friends show up at a bar where the television channel is automatically changed because, over time, you have all made it clear that you like watching Vikings games.

Or how about a nightstand that drops printed photos into its drawer as those images are shared by your Twitter network.

Tableau integrates a photo printer, camera and wireless Internet connection. It quietly drops photos sent to it through Twitter into its drawer, for the owner to discover. Images of things placed in the drawer are posted to Twitter as well. A softly glowing knob that almost imperceptibly shifts color invites interaction without demanding it.

Will we one day see people walking around with a giant “like” button on their chests? I’m still waiting for the ability to photoshop out my love handles in realtime and real life. The Biggest Loser meets the Biggest Layer.


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My name is Dave Pell, internet superhero. This blog provides an addicted insider's account of what's happening to us in the era of the realtime, social web. You can read more about the site, grab the rss feed, follow me on twitter, join the Facebook page, or get email updates.