Crafts, Design, Technology: Towards the Social Hardware

dottavi —  8 November 2007 — 4 Comments

Really cool presentation by Matt Webb (blog and business links starting from here) about the prototyping of a kind of “Social Radio” – in the hardware sense. And if you think to something similar to Last.fm, yes, Matt says that it’s “Bringing the social features their software as to a hardware product”. Actually a prototype and not a product, it’s a project they are doing for BBC. And the BBC will be releasing it with a “Creative Commons-like” license to consumer electronic manufacturers. So who knows if an actual product will ever hit the shelves, but it’s a really interesting approach.

Co-creation, by Matt Webb

Co-creation: slide by Matt Webb, photo (CC) by Alberto D'Ottavi

The idea starts from the fact that radio, in Britain, is still (or, better, again) very successful. Recently took over the audience of tv for the first time after 50 years. So what about creating a complete new kind of hardware stuff, being able to understand and save your preferences, compare them to your friend’s one, and with open APIs? E.g., their prototype has a two-function physical rolling button. The first function allows you to find stations, the other let you switch between the ones you listen to frequently.

I find the idea of pulling down software function from the Web and crafting them in hardware, and then collect data to push on the web again is really fascinating. And even more powerful are the perspective emerging from the Co-creation principles that Matt used for explaining his work.

dottavi

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Journalist, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Advisor. Writing about tech, culture and society since 1991. Formerly contributor at Forbes, Co-founder Blomming.com. Now Partner at Fashion Technology Accelerator.
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Aubrey
Aubrey

Some tips:1: watch a good Wikipedia page, and see how it's written (editing, images, style, etc.)2: find some references and documentation. This is really important: if you give them good references, they will accept it. Try to develop your article offline, and when it's quite good, upload it. Discuss the edits with all the guys: you will have to be really patient Let the others modify it to reach a more neutral point of view (impossible to do by yourself). And ask anyone, if you need help. Maybe this could be useful: http://www.masternewmedia.org/news/2008/07/31/how_to_get_your_commercial/Bye

alberto
alberto

Doug: I'll try to get in touch with Wikipedia italian representative, hoping she'll be able to work it out

luca
luca

douglas, why don't you try to add "social hardware" in some relevant page, say e.g. social network or open hardware? (provided that they are there ;) PS just a thought, I do not know pretty anything in detail of wikipedia policies

Douglas Pardoe Wilson
Douglas Pardoe Wilson

The term Social Hardware is not new to me, and it is quite visible on the web, via Google, but my attempt to put up a Social Hardware page on the Wikipedia is likely to fail because they consider it a neologism. It would help if someone could either provide references or argure for it on the Wikipedia talk page.Please help! dpw