The discussions on mediation and hybrid media in the readings mainly focus on software and visual technologies. I happened to see a new device that might offer the other aspect to see mediation. Since a “deep remix” can be on at multiple levels simultaneously (Manovich, 2001). A linked system can be built not only on the visual level, but the infrastructure level.
It is always annoying to carry chargers or rush for sockets. What’s more, the number of wearable devices is growing. It has become a bothersome task to match all the devices with charging cables. Many people have a habit of dropping cellphone, iPod or camera together to a certain place when arrive home. It will be fortunate that if the place where we put all our devices can also charge them for us. Intel recently activated a bowl that has this potential capability. Right now, the wireless charging bowl is not as smart to charge all the devices we own. It now merely pairs with Intel’s newly announced smart headset, which will charge automatically as soon as it is dropped into the wireless bowl. But the company has ambitious plan of expanding this technology to make the bowl accommodate a wider array of devices, including phones, tablets, and Ultra books (Bell).
People might think it is just an Intel thing, however, it is a new standard. Device manufactures would need to adapt their designs to support the bowl and it will not take long to modify products to support the system (Lanxon). The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) is a not-for-profit organization that formed in 2012. It includes leading brands from a wide range of industries including consumer electronics, mobile services, wireless technology, automotive, furniture, software and more. They are working cooperatively to build a global wireless charging ecosystem based on Rezence™ technology (“About A4WP”). Rezence technology makes it possible to charge multiple devices simultaneously without precise placement.
Even though it is mainly an innovation of hardware, if we deblackbox (actually deblackbowl) the wireless charging bowl, we can still find the double logics of mediation. We produce the chargers and sockets not to use them directly. They don’t have interfaces. We just rely on them to maintain our interaction with other digital devices. Since they are not our ultimate purpose of media, they should be erased. The material “redundancies” are going to be invisible; the media will be more transparent. They are all attempts to achieve immediacy by ignoring the presence of the medium (Manovich, 2001). We are also trying to erase the boundaries of different media although we tried hard to multiply them before. This hypermediacy also support immediacy. People can grab a digital device to use as naturally as a primitive guy grabbing a stone tool.
Methods discovered in one medium provide metaphors that contribute new ways to think about notions in other media (Kay, 1977). The black bowl is just a starting point. The technology will be used to turn almost any surface into a wireless charging surface capable of powering any Rezence-enabled mobile device. Examining the specifics and understanding how “dead” things can be mediated into new network of modern life, one big step of technology progress can be unfolded. Our notion that some things are alive and some others are lifeless might be fundamentally changed soon. In the near future, our furniture, household necessaries and other devices will become more sensible and have deeper interactions with us.
“About A4WP.” Rezence. Web. 19 Feb. 2014. http://www.rezence.com/alliance/about-a4wp
Bell, Lee. “CES: Intel’s wireless charging bowl replaces your cereal with gadgets”. The INQUIRE. Web. 19 Feb. 2014. http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2321682/intels-wireless-charging-bowl-replaces-your-cereal-with-gadgets
Lanxon, Nate. “Making Nike’s FuelBand charge wirelessly in Intel’s Smart Bowl took one hour”. Wired.com. Web. 19 Feb. 2014 http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-01/08/intel-smart-bowl-mike-lee
Kay, A., & Goldberg, A. (1977). Personal dynamic media. Computer, 10(3), 31-41.
Manovich, L. (2001). The language of new media. MIT press. P11,P15