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Fusing Design with Technology

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the all-about-the-shiny dept.

39

PreacherTom writes "Since the creations by Walt Disney of Space Mountain and EPCOT, progressives have attempted to show us a picture of how technology will affect our future lives. More often than not, these pictures become laughable after 20 years. Not for Royal Philips Electronics, who at their Simplicity Event in London unveiled their picture of the seamlessly technological future, including e-blackboards, cosmetic skintone scanners, and (sure to make the mouths of geeks water) the amBXT Immersive Gaming Experience."

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39 comments

FP (2, Funny)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345605)

Gah! It's been seven minutes already! Won't SOMEBODY FP, so I can moderate you down???

Re:FP (3, Funny)

oaklybonn (600250) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345617)

Put down the bottle, Russ.

Re:FP (1)

kristopher (723047) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345841)

It is not the bottle FP's should be worried about, it's where he'll put it.

Re:FP (1)

Lordpidey (942444) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346021)

Ha, but you posted so that you can't moderate, meanwhile I can still... CRAP!

Who is driving? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16345607)

Bear is driving!
How can that be (first post)?

uWand (1)

Auritribe (856763) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345611)

"uWand lets consumers read and manage all digital content from music and photos to films and games with a simple wand instead of a remote. Move the wand over the image on your screen and you can scroll, select, play, and move elements."

Sounds an awful lot like the WiiMote to me...

Re:uWand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16352003)

Cocky touch-screen user: "Sounds an awful lot like my finger to me."

How many kinds of bad is that summary? (5, Insightful)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345627)

Whoa boy, where to start:
"Since the creations by Walt Disney of Space Mountain and EPCOT, progressives have attempted to show us a picture of how technology will affect our future lives.
1. It's a lot older than Disney World. 1939 World's fair, anyone? Or before that, how about a more radical example, like the Italian Futurists.
2. "Progressives" - "I don't think that word means what you think it means." These days, "Progressive" means "a liberal, but we can't call him a liberal because that phrase is too unpopular with voters." Do you mean a futurist? A student of progress?

More often than not, these pictures become laughable after 20 years. Not for Royal Philips Electronics
Uh, who died and made you Hari Seldon? You have absolutely no way of knowing that Phillips' vision won't look equally laughable 20 years down the road. History suggests it will be just as laughable. If you could see the future, you'd be investing in the stock market, not posting to Slashdot.

The future will not only be stranger than we imagine, but stranger than we can imagine...

Re:How many kinds of bad is that summary? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16345711)

No. A progressive is much worse than a liberal. A progressive means a fascist but that phrase is not too popular with voters. Hell, they want more centralized power and they go out of their way to demonize opposing views and the people that have those views. Not only that, many go out of their way to censor those with alternative views.

Two examples:
http://www.nysun.com/article/41020 [nysun.com]
http://www.campusreportonline.net/main/articles.ph p?id=364 [campusreportonline.net]

Try to be a counter protester. The protesters "security" will put an end to you. I leave the google searches to you.

Re:How many kinds of bad is that summary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16345827)

What, and "the right" is any better? There are retards and fascists on all corners of the political spectrum. Considering that you yourself are going out of your way to "demonize opposing views and the people that have those views", you're half way to fascism yourself.

Re:How many kinds of bad is that summary? (2, Interesting)

ObiWonKanblomi (320618) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345801)


Whoa boy, where to start:
"Since the creations by Walt Disney of Space Mountain and EPCOT, progressives have attempted to show us a picture of how technology will affect our future lives.
1. It's a lot older than Disney World. 1939 World's fair, anyone? Or before that, how about a more radical example, like the Italian Futurists.


You're going in the right direction with the World's Fair comment, but you can go a bit further back to 1851. Turns out the World's Fair has been running since then. Looking up the Great Exhibition (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Exhibition [wikipedia.org] ) indicates that it was a "the first in a series of World's Fair exhibitions of culture and industry".

It also appears the Great Exhibition was a British reaction to the French Industrial Exposition of 1844 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Industrial_Ex position_of_1844 [wikipedia.org] ). The wikipedia article clearly indicates this expo was "one in a series of eleven French national industrial expositions held to encourage improvements in progressive agriculture and in technology, that had their origins in 1798". Note the use of the word "progressive".

I'm not sure what you meant by the italian furturists. Were you talking about the ones at the turn of the 20th century? Or the renaissance?

Re:How many kinds of bad is that summary? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16346409)

These days, "Progressive" means "a liberal", but we can't call him a liberal because that phrase is too unpopular with voters.

Perhaps in the US. But not in the Netherlands. It is generally not considered as progressive or leftist. The political term "liberalism" is considered to be right of the middle, whereas socialims is on the left side. Most business people in the Netherlands vote VVD, which is the liberal party.

Re:How many kinds of bad is that summary? (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346777)

In the US, 'progressive' is also sometimes a code word used by 'revolutonaries' to refer to themselves.

In that sense, none of the pasty-white do-gooder B.S. that 'liberals' espouse means squat. 'Liberal' translates to 'sometimes useful idiot' in those circles.

Re:How many kinds of bad is that summary? (1)

mOdQuArK! (87332) | more than 7 years ago | (#16348643)

Liberal _used_ to mean someone who thought everyone should be able to live & let live, until the propagandists got a hold of it.

The "sometimes useful idiot" applies more to the people who like to use the word "liberal" as a pejorative.

Douglas Adams is waay ahead of them... (4, Funny)

arun_s (877518) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345637)

From TFA:
So, instead of lengthy user manuals or complicated keypads and remotes, the collection focused on gesture, touching, and other intuitive ways for humans to interact with their environment.
From the hitchhiker's guide:
For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive -- you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope. It saved a lot of muscular expenditure of course, but meant that you had to sit infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same programme.

This stuff looks ridiculous now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16345655)

Who said it would take 20 years?

not really (1)

russellh (547685) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345661)

the fa is about philips changing its focus to health and lifestyle design-driven products.

Hubris/bollocks (2)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345733)

Since the creations by Walt Disney of Space Mountain and EPCOT, progressives have attempted to show us a picture of how technology will affect our future lives. More often than not, these pictures become laughable after 20 years. Not for Royal Philips Electronics, who at their Simplicity Event in London unveiled their picture of the seamlessly technological future
So on the day of their "unveiling", Philips' "seamlessly technological future" is declared future proof and, unlike those losers at Disney, will never seem kitch and passe. And you're quoting from a carefully researched and unbiased assessment of the project (or was it their marketing speil?).

Not so fast (2, Insightful)

slobber (685169) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345739)

"The last decade was the information society, but going forward, health and well-being will be a leading theme and driver of economic growth" says Philips CEO Gerard Kleisterlee.

Sounds like he is comparing apples to oranges here - information is a tool which can be used very effectively for achieving health and well being. So yes, while one can say that last decade was focused on information, I still see a huge room for improvement going forward - namely we need much better information classification to aid retrieval (for example, we can't search images, audio, or video unless they've been tagged). This, keeping focus on information is and will be essential for a Loooooooong time to come.

Still waiting since the 1930's for... (1, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345793)

A loving couple to go to a vending machine for a brand new baby since there's no sex in the future.

Pictures (2, Informative)

martijnd (148684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345863)

How about some pictures? The Business Week article doesn't have any...

http://www.presslink.nl/philipssimplicity/ [presslink.nl]

Re:Pictures (1)

PreacherTom (1000306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16347449)

There's a slideshow link in the article. Pix are there.

The amBXT Immersive Gaming Experience. (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345865)

As long as I can punch griefers in the face and knock their teeth out I'll go for it.

Re:The amBXT Immersive Gaming Experience. (1)

Bwerf (106435) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346845)

Sweet, that kind of technology would allow me to grief at even greater levels.

A grain of truthiness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16345879)

More often than not, these pictures become laughable after 20 years. Not for Royal Philips Electronics


Only because 20 years haven't passed yet.

Predictions (1)

kristopher (723047) | more than 7 years ago | (#16345899)

When we look back on predictions we often find them absurd. Where as the ones we think of mediocre and not very awe inspiring, turn out to be the most valid. In such cases those who predicted the future were the ones who were down in there working to make it happen. They knew what was possible or at least what they thought they could make happen. Instead of sitting back and waiving their hand hoping others would make their dreams come true. They thought of the future as a progressive change instead of a revolution of technology at every turn.

Re:Predictions (1)

joto (134244) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346095)

Instead of sitting back and waiving their hand hoping others would make their dreams come true. They thought of the future as a progressive change instead of a revolution of technology at every turn.

Well, I have really thought this true, and working to make it happen. Here's my vision of the future:

  • robots (uh, ehm, and fembots!)
  • colonization of the galaxy
  • the singularity
  • teleportation devices
  • free energy
  • a monkey with a typewriter that finally completes the collected works of shakespeare
  • the end of poverty
  • world peace
  • lots of cool alien civilizations that some future relative of president Bush starts a war against
  • and that scientists will finally succeed in creating a straight banana!

So, what is your prediction again?

Re:Predictions (1)

kristopher (723047) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346209)

If you were really out there making it happen.. Would you be on Slashdot? I think not.

Bright Future (1)

gafisher (865473) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346435)

Li'l Eva and Adolph's photo album http://images.businessweek.com/ss/06/10/philips_si mplicity/image/share.jpg [businessweek.com] is nice, and who could possibly resist the Ambient Experience Catheterization Lab http://images.businessweek.com/ss/06/10/philips_si mplicity/image/ambi.jpg [businessweek.com] ? Nothing here that actually improves life, but it sure could make it look brighter.

People Focus: It's a two edged sword (4, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346481)


PEOPLE FOCUS. Consequently, Philips is changing, says Stefano Marzano, CEO and chief creative director for Philips Design, "from a company in which technology called the shots to one in which the focus is firmly on people."


To some degree this has to be regarded as poppycock. The corporation will never be focused on people, because people are merely instrumental to profit.

What this means is that the corporation will abstract what it sees as the relevant details of you, then place you in a pigeonhole. Information technology allows many details to be extracted, and the number of pigeonholes to be much larger than the two or three that pre IT era companies had to content themselves with.


QUASI-HUMANS. Using the insights from its research, the company developed personas--individual composite characters with particular needs and characteristics--to design appropriate solutions. These 14 entities, ranging in age from 5 to 53, illustrated the five key themes behind the event.


See what I mean?

The result can be surprisingly good. In just the context of the relationship between the consumer and the company, this is on balance a good thing. The corporation must have a strategy for making a profit, and this requires that they categorize their customers. More categories means better service.

In the wider context of society, there are dangers in this reductionistic view of humanity.

It is one thing to devise products that will fit the needs of specific groups of people, but increasingly marketing is focused on creating relationships and knowing individual customers. This involves a kind of surveillance, which is offered by companies like ChoicePoint. But information that may serve well to put you in a company's marketing pigeonholes, particularly when it is purchased by the government for security or other applications that affect you as a citizen. One of ChoicePoint's subsidiaries, DBT, was involved in the disastrous attempt to purge the Florida voting roles of convited felons in the 2000 presidential election. That effort improperly disenfranchised 8,000 voters in an election whose margin of victory was 537 votes.

One Question (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#16346507)

So where is my flying car?

It's easy to extrapolate present trends (often to their illogical conclusion). Harder to predict disruptive innovations that result in discontinuities.

Re:One Question (1)

glittalogik (837604) | more than 7 years ago | (#16359007)

Right here [moller.com] .

Another Bland Prediction of the Future (1)

VegeBrain (135543) | more than 7 years ago | (#16348075)

So the future is going to have people waving their hands around to get anything done? Sounds like everyone's going to be an amateur symphony conductor. At least the picture phone didn't make it's appearance again. What I can't figure out is why all these companies is people want the future to be FUN, not easy. If it's easy, it's boring!

I also can't figure out why there are so many bleepin speakers in that speaker system. I count 8, 4 of which they could be used as engines on a small plane and the other 4 have stupid lighted boxes on the top.

And as usual the future is all about fancy gadgets to improve the corporate profits. There's nothing here about humans evolving, just technology.

Re:Another Bland Prediction of the Future (1)

dapsychous (1009353) | more than 7 years ago | (#16348427)

Waving your hands and talking to the computers... hmmm... So waving my arms and cursing at the computer would actually accomplish something?

Neat.

The Future Ain't What It Used to Be (2, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16348085)

"these pictures become laughable after 20 years. Not for Royal Philips Electronics"

Right, because of course in the future RPE will have been the first company to predict the actual future, not just today's future. They're just different from all the others, just because.

Unless they opened this exhibit in 1986, and predicted a future of cellphones ruining movies, Internet porn replacing TV, theocrats destroying science, and no flying cars. Oh, and a 1986-future-2006 with people still believing "* of the Future" exhibits are real predictions, instead of marketing whatever can't be justified to do in the present.

are they worth it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16348677)

Let's see:

1) a video post-it board
2) a heart-cath setup
3) picture frames
4) looks like a UV light she's shining in her eyes (the Cataract-a-mator?)
5) a TV for the kids
6) a wall-sized lite-brite(TM) for the kids
7) a bedside light
8) an animated bathroom scale
9) an oddly-shaped home stereo
and
10) a home-amusement system tht changes color

Nine out of ten are simply toys to keep you amused / distracted, and the tenth something your hospital can over-bill your insurance company for.

WHY should serious individuals pay any attention to the toys?

Lasers (2, Insightful)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 7 years ago | (#16350821)

Remember when lasers were new (well, I don't, but I've seen the old magazines)?

Science magazines were all saying "lasers have so many uses and are going to be in every part of our life."

I think that to a degree, these people were right. There are plenty of informational uses (optical media), medical uses (laser eye surgery), among others.

But the reality is that day-to-day life hasn't changed, and we don't wake up and use our laser-spoon to eat our laser-ceral in the morning. Look at the average family, and sure they're different from a similar family of 50 years ago, but most of the noticeable differences are social/behavioural, even if those behaviours are based around new technology.

The future is much more boring than what looks good on the cover of Science/Tech magazines. The city of 50 years from now isn't going to be mostly buildings built 50 years from now; most of the city will look 50-80% the same.

- RG

Re:Lasers (1)

sowth (748135) | more than 7 years ago | (#16351243)

Look ma, I'm using my lazer spoon to eat my lazer cereal!

Munch Munch Munch...

Ow!!! My lazer spoon just cut off my face! Mommy! Mommy!

Since Space Mountain?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16368023)

"Since the creations by Walt Disney of Space Mountain and EPCOT, progressives have attempted to show us a picture of how technology will affect our future lives."

Uh, how about the preceeding 100 years of World's Fairs?
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