August 12, 2004

Wave Pillow and New Inventors

Thanks to BitTorrent, I watched an episode of the Australian TV show, The New Inventors. It seems like a decent show--a gentle cross between Monster Garage and American Idol--and very Australian (two of the three segments were about surfing and beer). (Here's the Suprnova link to the torrent).

One of the segments featured a pillow that would vibrate based on wave activity at a given surf break, so sleepy surfers can tell without getting out of bed whether to run down to the beach at 6AM or sleep until noon. It's a nice piece of interaction design and, not surprisingly, it's created by an interaction designer, Elmar Trefz (who, although Australian, was at one point one of Amy Franceschini's futurefarmers--somehow I'm not surprised this mix of interaction design, art, tech and surfing is associated with the Bay Area). The WavePillow, as its called, has its own site.

It's nice seeing ideas like "ambient display" percolating into popular culture (though without the terminology--maybe that's for the best). The judges on the show thought it was a bit too narrow in its market, but seemed to like the ideas and didn't think it was particularly outlandish. That (once again) says to me that augmenting familiar objects makes the ideas more acceptable.

Posted by mikek at August 12, 2004 11:32 PM | TrackBack
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