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Arts & Culture

Inventions Coming Soon to Enchant Our Lives

Gavid Bowy/flickr creative commons

Your kitchen cabinet glows and you simply open its doors and begin talking (on Skype) with a friend or relative you can see. (Think what this means for children and grandparents, no matter they live.)

This is the idea of David Rose, an inventor and instructor at the legendary MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His new book, Enchanted Objects, is a fascinating read, because it explains how technology, human desire, design, and purpose meet up to improve our lives.

On our fresh edition of ICE: Innovation, Creativity, and Exceptional Ideas, regular contributor Rich Hanley of Quinnipiac University and I interview MIT's Rose about his guided tour of what's coming or already here.

  • The technology-enhanced waste can that detects what you're throwing away and re-orders the product for you from the retailer Amazon
  • The technology-enhanced cap for a standard pill container that glows when it's time for you to take your meds, and communicates that to your doctor and a chosen family member (A significant number of people do not take prescribed medicines for a variety of reasons. This product, created by Rose, has dramatically increased the numbers of people who take their medications.)
  • A wallet becomes harder to open as you approach the limit of your available funds, hoping to signal you that you're in danger of overdrawing your account
  • An internet connected lock on your door allows you to use your phone to allow entry when you're not there, or lock the door if you think you've forgotten
  • A dog/cat collar that uses the cloud to tell you the exact location of your companion animal at all times (This is especially helpful if the animal gets loose or is stolen.)

In addition, we talk about the neuroscientist who said in The New York Times recently that naturally occurring lithium in our public water supply is preventing depression in some and lowering suicide rates in communities where there is more lithium present. Should lithium be put in our water supplies the way we use fluoride to improve our health outcomes?

As always, we'd like your calls about what you'd like to see invented, or innovative ideas that capture your imagination.

Join the conversation by email, on Twitter, or on Facebook.

GUESTS:

  • Rich Hanley runs the graduate journalism program at Quinnipiac University.
  • David Rose is the author of Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire, and the Internet of Things.

MUSIC:

  • “Gne Gne,” Montefiori Cocktail
  • “Unbelievable (Ralph Jezzard Mix),” E.M.F.
  • “Dirty Harry,” Gorillaz
  • “In Motion,” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Lori Mack and Jonathan McNicol contributed to this show.

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For more than 25 years, the two-time Peabody Award-winning Faith Middleton Show has been widely recognized for fostering insightful, thought-provoking conversation. Faith Middleton offers her listeners some of the world's most fascinating people and subjects. The show has been inducted into the Connecticut Magazine Hall of Fame as "Best Local Talk Show".

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