Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire, and the Internet of Things

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: David Rose

Narrated By: Corey Brill

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date: July 2014

Duration: 7 hours 43 minutes

Summary:

How should human beings interact with technology in the future?

That's a question entrepreneur and MIT Media Lab scientist David Rose grapples with every day.

Many believe the future will look like more of the same--ever more smartphones, tablets and other devices, with screens embedded in every conceivable surface. Rose calls this narrow vision the "Terminal World", a future that makes some people comfortable, especially smartphone makers.

Rose has a different view: a future in which technology is present in everyday objects we already care about and know how to use, objects that will respond to our needs, come to know us, and even learn to think ahead on our behalf. Such technology, Rose argues, can be woven in the background of our environment: enhancing our human relationships, not distracting us from them. Rather than being contained in a dizzying proliferation of apps and demanding that we succumb to its needs, technology will seem to us more like the enchanted technologies of fairy tales and fantasies, from the flying carpet to Harry Potter's invisibility cloak.

The debate about new technology seems stuck between two polarizing views. On one hand, start-up entrepreneurs often trumpet the ability for technology to fix problems and make life more efficient. On the other side, critics skeptics bemoan that gadgets and screens are devaluing human relationships and traditional skills, sending humans on a dangerous path where the divisions between man and machine blur.

In Enchanted Objects, David Rose offers a new perspective: an optimistic vision for the future that embraces a more natural way for humans to interact with technology--designs that will improve our lives in tangible ways. He points to a future that could, one day, even move mankind closer to fulfilling more deeply our essential desires for omniscience, immortality, protection, and creative expression.

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