Playing With Blocks

Brygg Ullmer, a researcher at MIT’s Media Lab, thinks that we shouldn’t have to deal with a computer screen to get networked multimedia devices to work together. If Ullmer gets his way, we’ll be able to use wooden blocks. The “media-Blocks “would serve as a simple means to copy recorded information from devices such as video cameras and whiteboards, and paste it into an output device like a video projector or a laser printer. For instance, inserting a mediaBlock into a slot on a digital whiteboard-a collaborative writing surface whose contents are stored electronically-would copy its contents onto a network computer and simultaneously write a code onto the block specifying the file ‘s location. Inserting this mediaBlock into a printer would retrieve the file and produce hard copy of the writing on the whiteboard-all without requiring a conventional screen interface. Arranging these blocks on a Scrabble-like rack would allow manual sequencing of multimedia elements.

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Basic.
  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning magazine and daily delivery of The Download, our newsletter of what’s important in technology and innovation.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.