Afternoon talks at the Internet des Objets day

Jean-Louis Fréchin (ENSI) has been working for a long time in the design of technological objects, and gave an awesome talk about technologies from a designer perspective. The interface is an object. “Beau et bon” (beautiful and good) he says about the iPhone. He is making (building) digital artifacts, from services to objects rather than the other way around. It’s so much about software than hardware, and it’s becoming hard to differentiate between digital (software) interface and the hardware, there is tangible aspect to objects.

“N0-Objects” – new digital objects, novel kinds on networked devices, all kinds of network structures, and this is a design challenge. He likes the idea of “Mestizo” objects. The design process is about transforming technologies into products and practices, design is what is between these two notions. Also, the different cultures have an effect on the object, Japanese objects are different from European ones.

“Domotics is what you find in a fair, not in a house.”

He shows his work Domus Master/NoMiror, a programmable object that shows things I want him to show. It’s a screen different from other screens. Also discusses Interface(s) and. WaSnake a digital bookshelf that can be programmed, and used as a general interface, that can display all kinds of infos (RSS feedz, etc.). Waaz, an totally cool (mobile tag, you can create your own thing). You just transform a bookshelf by integrating a Tikitag reader. WaPix, 2 photo-frames that are to be connected, which gives a new way to combine souvenirs, gives a new-old-school touch to your photos. All what he shows have been built on top of open source technologies. He underlines how with open tools such as , designers have been enabled to build technologies, smart, animated objects. The hack of the wii mote hasn’t been done by them, but other people who made it available to them, for free. Wablog, a small device that shows your avatar online and that can be programmed. It’s all about presence, protection, and internet presence. It’s a “machin”, something with no real purpose, but it’s a research step. All of these things are on IP, simple, open, usable, built to be played with.

To design objects, it’s about gut feelings, something that relates to our humanity, feelings. The digital objects and cannot be built by big companies and you need to think about the human who will use them and want to play with it. You need to integrate the open dimension to be reused, change, and then you’re confined to use and consume and get frustrated by them.

The final words: IoT is not science fiction, it’s here. In IoT, there is the word “object” and objects have a logic, a design conception, a long history. But you need to put the good principles in them, such as privacy and people’s fear into the design process. This is an opportunity for the financial crisis and environmental issues. We want to buy Jean-Louis’s objects! So sell cool objects, and make people want to have them, touch them, feel them (did we say iPhone?)!!!!!

Definitely awesome talk, totally worth checking out his work (how the hell didn’t I hear about this genius before?)! I can’t way to get his stuff to play around with, so Jean-Louis, if you read that, please sell these toys soon because you might have a customer here (maybe two?).

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