In Brief

The Microsoft Research designer introduces the reality of online selves and what they mean for our future.

Family heirlooms are beginning to include digital files, in addition to unique, physical objects. Richard Banks, Principal Interaction Designer at Microsoft Research, has begun to grapple with this reality and presented possible future outlets at PSFK CONFERENCE LONDON. The company focuses on social science, performing field research and exploring how technology works to integrate human motivations into everyday life – digital legacies have become a pressing issue.

Banks and his team have created several prototypes, all of which work to archive files posted on popular social media sites. They include the Back-Up Box, which saves tweets and posts them on a screen, a Flickr Presentation Box, which displays a person’s photos, and Timecard, a timeline of a person’s life made from their photos and biographical information.

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