Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Play & Work MAKES US ALL THUMBS!

We once used varied and intricate movements to routinely manipulate objects. Play involved touching, feeling and building. Toys like Jenga bricks, Silly Putty, Pick-up Sticks and even classic ABC blocks frequently titillated our digits. Now, we’re all thumbs.
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I know, our thumbs separate us from the monkeys. But think about what we use them for. We spend hours each day killing X-Box Creatures, driving an Italian plumber in his cart, dialing phones, texting emoticons and textcronyms and poking a space bar. Our thumbs are so imprecise we’ve had to make the spacebar literally 5 times the size of a normal letter key. (at least that’s what my Macbook Pro proves). Why are we so thumb-centric?

Are we destined to be slaves to our thumbs? Not if fellow inventaholics focus on the Body-Product interface. As an inventor I strive to implore new uses of ordinary objects. I also spend time thinking about how our bodies can/should interface with those objects. Every product at some point in its life interfaces with humans. Shouldn’t that experience be enjoyable.

Here is a prototype of a new type of RC Car I invented. It’s called “BongoCargo” and its name speaks for itself. I replaced the thumbtroller with Bongos and find it a blast to play with. Same RC goodness with new whole-hand flavor!

It was built using a $15 RC Car from Radio Shack, a Basic Stamp Education Board also from Radio Shack and a circuit board and relays also from… heck, I got all the parts at Radio Shack!

It was a simple and fun build. If enough people are interested, email or comment, I’ll post the schematics and source code.

Enjoy the Video. I’m planning on bringing it to Makers Fair in San Mateo. Come play with it or build your own and we can play together. As always, I’m glad to answer any questions so ask away.

Video Copyright 2008-2009 Perry Kaye, Music by “Yon4z” Album “Like My Bitch” from “www.Archive.Org”

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