A Collection of Articles
Edit

Communications

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 five of your free articles for this month.

Insider basic

$29.95/yr US PRICE

Subscribe
What's Included
  • 1 year (6 issues) of MIT Technology Review magazine in print OR digital format
  • Access to the entire online story archive: 1997-present
  • Special discounts to select partners
  • Discounts to our events

You've read of free articles this month.