Shaping Things to Come
The computer revolution is invading the physical world of material
A number of trends are converging which will re-define
the relationship between people and our tools and possessions.
Already, objects are designed on computers with solid-modelling
They are manufactured from plastic or powder using cybernetic
3-D printers. They are tracked with digital inventory systems
using computer-readable ID chips. They can be followed
as they move across the planet's surface by telephone cells
and global-positioning satellites. They can be purchased
and sold by e-commerce, and discussed by users groups.
New forms of social software and customer relations management
are appearing on the Web. Objects can be designed for
disassembly and turned into smart trash.
Add these trends together and they form the picture of a new and
different kind of physicality. What does it mean?
And how will that feel? And what can we do about it?