Shows: 07.07.08

Monday mornings I'm on the air sharing more stories about how people are living better through computers. I'll tuck field notes from those shows right here. You'll also be able to dig into the archives to explore previous shows as I determine how best to share some of the highlights of the past 9 year's worth of adventures.

Monday, July 7, 2008

"The Morph": The Ultimate Technology Mash-up

On today's show I talked about an emerging technology called The Morph:

which promises to be the ultimate mash-up of cell phone, mobile computer, your camera and more. It even promises to clean up after itself. (Now there's a tool a girl could learn to love!)

How it Works …

Imagine folding up your cell phone and slapping it onto your wrist after using it to take a picture of the funky Hawaiian tourist shirt you are wearing to "skin" it as a matching accessory. That's just one of the things that a partnership between technology manufacturer, Nokia, and Cambridge University in the U.K. will make possible through a new nanotechnology called The Morph. What looks like a thin presentation film you might slap down on an overhead projector is actually a stretchable portable computer covered by millions of nanotechnology sensors. Unfold it and slip it's clip over your ear, and it's a cell phone or music player. Type on it's transparent QWERTY keyboard and you can check your email, surf the Internet, look up directions or buy tickets for your favourite movie. Touch it against an item of food and it will tell you if it's spoiled. Spill your coffee on it and it will clean itself. Fold it, stretch it, bend it, tuck it into your back pocket or slap it on your wrist and it's good to go.

Launched at the Museum of Modern Art's "Design and the Elastic Mind" exhibit this spring, The Morph is just one of a new breed of incredibly versatile nanotechnology tools designed to make our lives easier. It's also an example of the way that the distinct lines between technologies are blurring to create a single, portable tool that we can use for communications, computing, music, pictures and more.

It's easy to embrace technology that becomes easier to take with us and that empowers us more than ever before, particularly in an age where personal devices for monitoring heart health, blood sugar and a host of other medical markers might also be rolled into the mix.

While Nokia and Cambridge suggest that elements of The Morph won't be rolled into retail-ready technology for perhaps another seven years, it's still possible to take an early peek at this clever concept today through a video they've created showing what it looks like and how it might be used:

You'll find a movie linked to at the bottom of the page (or you can watch it at YouTube).

It's also worth taking a look at the Museum of Modern Art's "Elastic Mind" exhibit online at:

where The Morph is one of only 300 innovative tools designed to adapt to human behaviour and make our lives easier, safer and more fun.

What's on Deck?

Stay tuned for more ways to plug in …


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