Enchanted Objects: Innovation, Design, and the Future of Technology

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In the tradition of Who Owns the Future, an MIT Media Lab scientist imagines how everyday objects can intuit our needs, improve our lives, and form “an ethereal interconnection of gadgets and human desires that...will pervade our lives in the very near future” (The Wall Street Journal).

We are now standing at the precipice of the next transformative development, a world in which technology becomes more human. Soon, connected technology will be embedded in hundreds of everyday objects we already use: our cars, wallets, watches, umbrellas, even our trash cans. These objects will respond to our needs, come to know us, and even learn to think ahead on our behalf. David Rose calls these devices—which are just beginning to creep into the marketplace—Enchanted Objects.

In Rose’s vision of the future, technology atomizes, combining itself with the objects that make up the very fabric of daily living. Such innovations will be woven into the background of our environment, enhancing human relationships, channeling desires for omniscience, long life, and creative expression. The enchanted objects of fairy tales and science fiction will enter real life.

Groundbreaking, timely, and provocative, Enchanted Objects is a “delightful” (The New York Times) blueprint for a better future, where efficient solutions come hand in hand with technology that delights our senses. It is essential reading for designers, technologists, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and anyone who wishes to take a glimpse into the future.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Jul 15, 2014
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781476725659
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / General
Design / Product
Technology & Engineering / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Ten laws of simplicity for business, technology, and design that teach us how to need less but get more.

Finally, we are learning that simplicity equals sanity. We're rebelling against technology that's too complicated, DVD players with too many menus, and software accompanied by 75-megabyte "read me" manuals. The iPod's clean gadgetry has made simplicity hip. But sometimes we find ourselves caught up in the simplicity paradox: we want something that's simple and easy to use, but also does all the complex things we might ever want it to do. In The Laws of Simplicity, John Maeda offers ten laws for balancing simplicity and complexity in business, technology, and design—guidelines for needing less and actually getting more.

Maeda—a professor in MIT's Media Lab and a world-renowned graphic designer—explores the question of how we can redefine the notion of "improved" so that it doesn't always mean something more, something added on.

Maeda's first law of simplicity is "Reduce." It's not necessarily beneficial to add technology features just because we can. And the features that we do have must be organized (Law 2) in a sensible hierarchy so users aren't distracted by features and functions they don't need. But simplicity is not less just for the sake of less. Skip ahead to Law 9: "Failure: Accept the fact that some things can never be made simple." Maeda's concise guide to simplicity in the digital age shows us how this idea can be a cornerstone of organizations and their products—how it can drive both business and technology. We can learn to simplify without sacrificing comfort and meaning, and we can achieve the balance described in Law 10. This law, which Maeda calls "The One," tells us: "Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful."

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