Ideas from 3/7/12 meeting

At our last meeting, we started talking about heads-up displays (HUD) and augmented reality (AR). Since Google’s video about their Project Glass had just come out, that became the focus of our discussion for so long that when we had finished brainstorming, we had to call it quits for the day.  The discussion centered around input methods, information displayed, user interfaces (who will be interfacing with what through AR: people, people and objects, people and machines, people and displayed digital information or metadata…) Below are the ideas we generated, and next week we’ll start by turning the ghost racing idea into a product brief.

  • AR glasses as a platform for sketching and CAD – uses hand tracking as an input device
  • Recording and cuing stories or jokes by gestures
  • Historical overlays on cities for pedestrian tourists
  • Parkour video game
  • Modeling data (such as wind density in a city square, or light) as interactive sculptures
  • “Real life” ghost racing
  • Tutorials or how-to information encoded in objects (will this be death of design for usability?)
  • Sculpting through hand following and haptic feedback
  • Surveying or dimensioning in the world – an engineer could apply a know shape and size object, like a Post-it note, to a building, and AR glasses could calibrate dimensions using the relative size and skew of the reference object
  • Security tracking and avoidance – AR glasses that visualize for the wearing the blind spots of security cameras and mirrors

Ideas from 3/3/12 meeting

This brainstorm started with a discussion of hanging gardens, vertical gardens, and urban gardens, and we primed it with the phrase “gardens where you don’t expect them.” The final product we polished up was Egg Sprouts, but here are the other good or funny ones that cropped up along the way:

  • Living spice rack – a rack of plants that can be harvested for spices or seasonings
  • Mobile spice rack – a rotating overhead mobile of spices
  • Trash garden – a trashcan with plants growing on top that draws nutrients and warmth from the compost within
  • Wearable garden – a belt that supports small berry plants for snacking and can be placed on a nutrient station when not worn
  • Cartop garden – a thin tray on the automobile’s roof (or attached in the sunroof) that can grow moss, etc. that helps keep the auto interior cool in parking lots and offsets CO2 slightly
  • Office dividers made of bamboo or other hardy plants
  • Earings that respond to and visually identify air quality
  • Roof-island gardens – roof-top gardens that incorporate water features (for rainwater catchment and filtration or grey-water filtration, perhaps)
  • Floating garden islands in rivers such as the Charles in Boston for water filtration
  • Window stills – algae entrapped in windows which provides ethanol
  • Plant blender for offices – when a decorative plant dies, its pot can be used to grind it up into compost, which of course serves as the foundation for the next office plant
  • Send seed cards to other people to plant, and then keep track online of the amount of carbon each garden manages to trap

Then we got into ideas that were less product than novel uses for plants:

  • Bromeliads on street signs for air quality control
  • Gardens around edges of skylights to filter light – possibly with plants that move in response to water so that they would provide shade on sunny days and curl up to let more light in on rainy days
  • Planting grass on ceilings in delightful patterns
  • Artful distribution of climbing plants of buildings such that contemplation of the building structure presents itself differently in different seasons

If you’re from MIT, you might appreciate the following two silly ideas: we’d like to see someone moss-graffiti either Building 66 or 34 (then it would really be the Green Building), or turn Transparent Horizons into a hanging garden.


Ideas from 2/25/12 meeting

During the brainstorm that produced Bumper Ink, we also had several other ideas we wanted to keep on ice:

  • Weather Box - a tactile representation of outside weather, represented by a piece of granite that is heated or cooled to outside temperature, and films with water to represent precipitation
  • Faucet knobs with tactile water temperature feedback
  • Glasses which constantly record information, where information can be bought by other customers.
  • Local greenhouse at intersections which is powered by energy harvested from the traffic. Therefore the temperature of the intersection and types of plants growing there would reflect the amount of traffic passing through.
  • Similarly, street-side plants that indicate local pollution levels, possibly through color.
  • Bringing your desk into the kitchen – a kitchen e-ink calendar that interfaces with the oven and stove-top timer.
  • A toaster that prints different types of toppings and the date.
  • Thermostats that allow one to plan a weekly heating pattern corresponding to outside weather.
  • A car that changes its inside temperature (or the steering wheel temperature) if one mishandles it or drives poorly.
  • Intimidating car bumpers that puff up and become spiky to ward off aggressive drivers
  • An oven that changes color when it is on