Sometimes it’s better to hide the technology

This is a much delayed post that I have been trying to get around to writing for some time.

Back in February, I attended a showcase event run by Age Friendly Leeds, under the auspices over the multi-talented Abhay Adhikari. There were a number of products on show, but two in particular caught my eye.

Bus Clock

The first was the “bus beacon”. This is a device, based on a raspberry pi which takes the live data on bus times which feeds the displays on bus stops and passes it to a simple clock which counts down the time until the next bus is due at the nearest stop. This is intended to allow people to wait longer in the warmth of their home rather than going out in the cold to wait at the stop.

The second device was the “mesh box”.

Mesh Box These are basically a raspberry pi in a box. Externally, there is just one simple button on box. Pressing this button allows anyone with a box to talk to anyone else in the vicinity with one. They connect to each other via a mesh (hence the name) rather than relying on the internet, so the person using one does not need an internet connection. The idea is that people can talk to their neighbours whenever they feel in company. The boxes do have on/off switches, so people do not have to receive if they don’t want to be disturbed.

Mesh box

What I really love about these devices is their simplicity. They hide the technology and present interfaces which anyone who is anyway frightened of digital devices is likely to feel comfortable with.

I look forward to hearing about progress with these items. If you want to find out more, try giving Age Friendly Leeds a shout.

2 thoughts on “Sometimes it’s better to hide the technology

  1. very similar to what Peter Cochrane talks about. The IOT isn’t going to work if everything has to go round the world and back to get to the house next door, or a car further down the motorway than yours, or to a smart grid. The idea is to keep it local. The inventors of the future are about to come into their own.

  2. Hi John

    Thanks for your efforts to make Wifi available i hospitals, I have spent the last 6 days in HRI and was very pleased to be able to use my Phone using the Luminosity WiFi.. it works great as i was able to stay in touch with the outside world, and better still watch films.

    Regards

    roger Armitage

    ======================================== Message Received: Apr 14 2016, 02:05 PM

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