PICNIC 08 – Let All Things Be Connected
Let all things be connected
Lecturer: Rafi Haladjian
Raffi is one of the co-founders of Violet, which was founded in 2003, its main aim was and still is connecting things to the Internet and by things I mean everything.
But what seems to be different with Violet is that it doesn’t only emphasise on the network and how to connect things to it but also the emotional perspective, how we interact emotionally while connecting to the internet and being able to access a variety of information through our screens, being able to make ideal images of us on the web; how real is that and how does it affect us.
He starts by describing a product they made called “Nabaztag” in Armenian this means rabbit. Nabaztag was the first Internet connected rabbit, it has a variety types of expressions. He moves his ears, he speaks, he reads text, he plays music, he even lights up with every color imaginable. He can give you all types of services, messages, and content his owner asks for. He scours the net endlessly to do these very things. Rafi Sais people usually ask “Why a rabbit?” His answer is that the point wasn’t just to make another device or source of information that would require us sitting in front of a screen, but to make an actual point they wanted to take something extreme like a rabbit, removing all the technology aesthetics and coming up with something cute, something that would attach people emotionally and enlarge our attention bandwidth by experiencing an emotional relationship with an actual interactive robot. So the whole concept behind this lecture is that by taking something so extreme as a rabbit and connecting it to the internet, prove is given that everything else can be connected. He refers to the above as a two step strategy- one : connecting the Rabbits and -two: connecting everything else.
Since step one was already implemented with the Nabaztag, on October 23 Violet is planning to launch step Two, a new product called “Mirror”: The Mirror RFID reader is a USB-pluggable little platter that can read RFID tags and launch an assigned action on the computer when it spots a tag it knows, one of the examples Rafi mentioned was that you can Tag an umbrella with stamp and put it on the mirror and it can give you the weather forecast. I guess much more information will be provided once its out on the market. Personally I find the whole concept behind violet extraordinary and fascinating the way it can combine so many things and even look at the emotional aspects at the same time.