Locked out

When I got back from work I found myself locked out of the flat (nothing sinister, I just forgot my keys). I made good use of the time though.

Buying Lego from a local supermarket was slightly cheaper than buying a pint and awaiting the return of my saviour in a local pub, and slightly less embarrassing than hanging out on the doorstep with a can of beer from the corner shop.

As I came inside I thought ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if I’d been hacking on something out there,’ presumably jimmying arduinos and LEDs together to fashion a sonic screwdriver or something; anything to unlock that bloody door.

Is there a vision of that product already out there? Kiddicomp? Ubicomp kits? It’s the missing part of the ubicomp equation, for me anyway, that sense of modular play. Mujicomp is all well and good, but you can’t go camping with it, and you can’t put that kind of stuff together on a mossy front door porch.

Be Honourable!

In July I was one of a about six or seven artists approached by Josie Long to create a t-shirt design for her Edinburgh show Be Honourable!. I know she liked it, but like everyone else in the project I haven’t actually heard from her since sadly it didn’t quite work out as a screenprint-friendly design.

Not to matter. I’m publishing a slightly different version here under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Go and make a t-shirt for yourself.

Creative Commons Licence
Be Honourable! by Matthew Sheret is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at matthewsheret.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://matthewsheret.com.

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Neat little nudge on Russell’s post about Measuring Pebbles and Companion Objects.

Wouldn’t it be good if there was a servo control app for the iPhone and iPad? Where you could tap in some on/offs, forward/backs and control a motor or motors via bluetooth or wifi or the headphone port. Then your iPhone or iPad could drive itself around. And Matt’s Lego iPhone stand could drive up to him and tell him to get typing.

Which of course I read using this

The post-script to making this stand is that I didn’t remember until half an hour later that I’ve actually got a dock for this phone anyway. I got caught up in the creation and customisation of this familiar, and it’s not unrelated to these three pieces of context:

1) The Girl had been away for a few days, and I’d been alone in the flat a lot

2) Before and after a full day at the (new) job I’m still doing freelance projects. The further removed from my laptop these projects are the better for my attention span and my enjoyment

3) I really like playing with Lego

Separating, or at the very least augmenting, a ‘companion’ element from screens feels important, but in quite a natural way.

Basically, why aren’t there things at Maplin’s I can plug this in to yet?