Talk with Me (a.k.a. Wake me Up)

If you are reading this and live in the same great city as my good friend Dr. Naaman, you should go to the opening of the Talk to Me show at the MOMA, July 24th 2011. From their blog, they say:

Talk to Me is an exhibition on the communication between people and objects…It will feature a wide range of objects from all over the world, from interfaces and products to diagrams, visualizations, perhaps even vehicles and furniture, by bona-fide designers, students, scientists, all designed in the past few years or currently under development.

A year ago, I had the good fortune of meeting Paola Antonelli, the curator of Architecture and Design at the NY MOMA. She was describing to me this show, which was in its infancy at the time. So I’m excited to see it actually open and terribly sad I won’t be able to make the opening. We chatted for a little bit about the semantic difference between “Talk to Me” and “Talk with Me” (my research is focused more so on the latter). Quite a few months later, someone told me this quote by Ben Shneiderman: “the old computing is about what computers can do, the new computing is about what people can do.”

Recently, thinking about technology that people talk with, my friend Jeffery Bennett and myself entered a Web-of-things Hack-a-thon, part of Pervasive Computing. Our idea was simple. Can we enable an every day object to reuse the asynchronous status update on Facebook and Twitter to connect with someone in a meaningful, real-time way? Enter The REAWAKENING.

We thought to call it 'Sleeper Cell' too.

Quite simply, The REAWAKENING is a socially connected alarm clock. We used a old skool Chumby (quite possibly one of the best prototyping tools ever made) to make our clock which is tied into the Facebook and Twitter platforms. The REAWAKENING works like any other alarm clock. You set it and you go to sleep. When the alarm goes off, you can turn it off and wake up. But seriously, who does that? So, the alarm goes off, and you hit snooze and go back to bed. The snooze button gives you an extra 8.5 minutes of sleep, at the same time, The REAWAKENING posts your snooze to Facebook and Twitter:

If five (5) of your friends follow the link from the snooze post, the alarm will fire again on the clock, preempting your 8.5 minute snooze. And this cycle can continue if you hit snooze again. When you do finally wake up and turn off the alarm, your friends are notified:

There’s plenty of places for The REAWAKENING to go like shaking the clock can message your friends back to stop or you can ‘auto alarm’ to wake up when your friends nearby are going to wake up; don’t be surprised if you see it in an app-store near you. More importantly, as we continue to invent and build out a connected world, lets continue expand the people and things we talk to and who we talk with.

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