Home Appliances Given Personalities, Become Sad When Underused
Designer Simone Rebaudengo created a network of toasters that are addicted to making toast and get jealous if used less frequently.
As the internet of things grows, we should consider what it could mean having all of these smart, networked home appliances in our lives. Italian product designer Simone Rebaudengo, currently a designer at Frog in Munich, played out an extreme scenario of this potential future in his project ‘Addicted Products.’
In this ‘real-fictional service’, networked toasters, which were connected both to the internet and to their peer toasters, were distributed among a group of hosts. The toasters were addicted to being used, and were aware of when toasters in their peer group were being used. If a toaster were feeling underused, it would act on that emotion, getting attention physically or through tweets. In extreme cases, the toaster would self-destruct or call DHL to be moved to a different host.
The project, which was a collaboration with Haque Design Research in London, explored the relationship between people and networked products, while also putting forward a scenario in which ‘future people may not have ‘buying power,’ but rather ‘keeping power’ towards products.’ Check out the story of Brad the toaster below, and find more details on the Rebaudengo’s website.