BERG: Clocks For Robots


Role: Principal / Designer / Writer

After the investigations into computer vision for the Lamps project, the studio became more curious about the possible aesthetic impacts of the technologies in years to come.

We started writing pieces on our blog such as ‘Sensor-Vernacular‘ and posting found media/objects that resonated with the themes.

Kinect 3d scan/imagery by James George & Alexander Porter

Concurrently, our neighbouring studio RIG – especially James Bridle – had been documenting and developing a similar set of thoughts under the banner of ‘The New Aesthetic‘.

After posting a longer blog adapted from a talk of mine entitled ‘The Robot-Readable World‘, my colleague and friend Timo Arnall put together a lovely longish-form found footage piece of the same name.

In between client work, Timo and myself looked to extend the exploration into concept products and film – along with Jack Schulze and Andy Huntingdon on rapid-prototyping duties.

The resulting short project was called “Clocks For Robots” – speculative connected objects using dynamically-generated 2D barcodes as ‘line-of-sight’ unique keys to unlock place-based services. Their visual nature making them tangible and discoverable to humans / their robot companion species.

The Clock For Robots in situ for filming at Browns Of Brockley Coffee Shop, 2011

Because it relies on visual senses rather than the wobbly ‘hertzian‘ volumes of radio – we imagined it would create a crisper, more understandable mapping of software services to spaces.

Clocks For Robots Phone UI – making sure you are unlocking the legitimate wifi in a coffee shop
Visual line of sight within a space vs Wobbly radio ‘hertzian’ space

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