The critical making laboratory is a shared space for opening up the practice of experimentation with embedded and material digital technology to students and faculty in the Faculty of Information. The lab provides tools, materials, and training for building devices such as wearable computers, RFID systems, ubiquitous computing networks, and other physical computing technologies. However, while the critical making lab organizes its efforts around the making of material objects, devices themselves are not the ultimate goal. Instead, through the sharing of results and an ongoing critical analysis of materials, designs, and outcomes, the lab participants together perform a practice-based engagement with the pragmatic and theoretical issues around information and information technology. Physical computational objects are increasingly part of libraries, museums, and information environments more generally. The lab serves as a novel space for conceptualizing and investigating the critical social, cultural, and political issues that surround and influence the movement of information processing capability into the physical environment.
We need a different starting point from the technodeterminist. I think that we need to start from a simplicity and desirability. Ubicomp needs some ‘Muji’
A handful of startups in the emerging market of wireless fitness gadgets for non-athletes have all faced these challenges in the past few years and prevailed. Here’s how they did it: