October 28, 2004

Form Factors

It'll be interesting to see how new technology integrates with people's existing home environments. Here's a nice description of how matching people's expectations with the new demands of consumer equipment, from this article:

The bulky armoires people already have in their homes hide the flat panels' sleekness, the main motivation for investing thousands of dollars in them. As more people are buying these televisions, new options are being designed, including compact consoles.

This is an interesting replay of the tension that happened when radio equipment became small enough that it was not longer necessary to have a big bulky piece of furniture and the popularity of tabletop models took off. People's attitudes of what constitututed an appropriate relationship between the furniture in their homes and the technology shifted in response to both the shifting technology constraints and their comfort level with the new tech. This is, of course, continuously going on--after all, we repurposed armoires from holding clothing to TV's--but it's fascinating to watch.

The article also mentions this amusing product, the In-Vis-O-Track. With a name that's out of the 30s (where it would have been called the "Inviso-Track-ola"), it's described thus:

At the touch of a hand-held transmitter, you can now conceal and reveal a RECESSED TV, or any other item behind your favorite painting.

I'll let all of the pop cultural theorists gnaw on how that reinterprets the shifting relationship of art to media in our culture. ;-)

Posted by mikek at October 28, 2004 02:44 PM | TrackBack

If the TV show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (which I totally love) is any indication, the place to put your flat screen is...over the fireplace? Like art!

Actually, according to that show, the answer is "on every wall possible." Even the kids' rooms get huge plasma screens on them.

Posted by: andrew at October 28, 2004 07:27 PM
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