« On & Off: | Main | Epidemic Menace »

February 09, 2006

Bruce Sterling's


6 Trends in Technology

"...I think there are 6 trends in technology which all have something to do with physical objects and they all end up to a new kind of cultural sensibility for objects:

Interactive Chips: we now have objects can be labeled with interactive chips, that can be labelled with unique identity - RFID, electronic barcoding, arphids (rf-i-d for french).
Geolocation: positioning systems for physical objects in the cartesian environment.
Powerful Search Engines: we can actually find things digitally, it's not a project for google, we will end up googling objects pretty soon.
3D Modeling for objects, virtual design, computer-aided design, computer aided manufacturing.
Rapid Prototyping of objects: fabricators, computer fabricators, moving making objects from virtual design in a single manufacturing step: fabjects, blogjects.
Cradle-to-Cradle recycling: transparent production, watching objects move digitally from the moment to which the design to the moment when they're torn apart and recycled.

These are 6 big trends, all put in one bag. The outcome is that people will interact with objects in an unprecedented way; essentially we will end up with manufactured objects those information support system will be so extensive that there will be regarded as material extension of immaterial systems (we see them as hard copies of data-support systems). This would take 30 years away. I tend to try to describe what it would be like to live in these circumstances.

So I came up with a neologism to pack those concepts: I made up the word "spime", it's a noun, I don't expect it to stick or pass the general usage but as a novelist and a journalist and design critique I need a single syllable noun for an object that is plannable, findable, trackable, recyclable, uniquely identified that generates digital histories.

That's what a spime is and building this concept into a single verbal package, it's a kind of victorinox knife, a swiss multi-tool.

I want to say things like "that's a spime, she's spimable, it's too spimmy, that is not spimmy enough..."

From Spimes and the future of artifacts by Bruce Sterling,
LIFT06, February 3, 2006, Geneva [via pasta and vinegar]

Posted by jo at February 9, 2006 11:12 AM