Around the time I was reading David Rose’s book, Enchanted Objects, the Apple Watch was released and the Internet of Things (IoT) was on the lips of technophiles. Nicolas Negroponte of MIT pointed out that Rose expresses a unique balance of “romantic humanism and scientific destiny.” From Nest Thermostats to baby clothing that monitors a baby’s vital signs, people were putting processors, sensors, and transmitters into everyday objects that tap into basic human drives.
I first imagined a visitor’s book with the powers of telepresence. Rose argues that “we find these objects enticing due to our innate psychological needs, it seemed most logical way to organize them by universal human drives.” His Periodic Table of Enchanted Objects captures the state of consumer IoT circa 2014-15. The Enchanted Book fits neatly into zone 2. Although the current functioning “alpha” prototype uses an iPad or Android tablet, the end goal is to embed the electronic components and a screen directly into the binding of a book.
My mission to make stand-alone object led me down the rabbit hole of hardware tinkering for many months before I settled on creating an alpha prototype the leverages existing tablet technology to demonstrate the idea. IoT components are inexpensive but the development process is not. The road to the beta prototype is cleared but not yet paved with the LightBlueBean and the book structure. Next stop, IoT zone 2.