Image courtesy of Richard Banks: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/project/the-future-of-looking-back/
This work was undertaken during an internship, and subsequent consultancy work, within the Socio-Digital Systems group at Microsoft Research Cambridge and forms part of the Technology Heirlooms research theme. My role in the project was to develop design concepts in response to the ethnographic research that has already been completed, and to produce functioning prototypes.
Is a wooden box with a small bluetooth printer concealed in the lid. The box connects to a persons online Flickr account. Every so often, at approximately 4-5 per month, it prints a random picture from their account. It prints the picture inside inside the box, and there is no indication that a picture is being printed. When you go to look inside the box, you may find nothing, something unimportant,
or something that offers a valuable but forgotten memory.
During a 14 month field trial, the research participants experiences these characterics of randomness, anticipation, and a lot of control that allowed them to re-evaluate their relationships with technology, and how they might desire them to be.
This is a concept for creating a physical memorial of a Flickr account. If you were to inherit a loved ones Flickr account, it may contain 10's of thousands of images. Would you want to be responsible for the maintenance of the account, or would you like it to be exported into a physical memorial?
Each plastic slide is visually blank, but is connected to a phototset exported from Flickr onto the device. Inserting the slide into the viewer brings up the related photos, while tilting the viewer from side to side scrolls through them.
This prototype served as demo, and discussion point for the research team. It is featured in 'The Future of Looking Back', by Richard Banks.