The land where oranges are fireballs and office chairs are racing cars

0etetete5.jpgYuichiro Katsumoto from imgl/Keio Media Design in Japan has developed a fascinating “toy” which could turn potentially any aspect of your daily life into a playful moment.

ET is a wearable computing system that uses RFID tags to transform any common object into a toy. When the user touches an object, the ET armband reads its RFID tag. ET makes a sound according to the user’s actions. For example, an umbrella becomes a sword, an orange becomes a fireball, and a chair on wheels becomes a racing car.

Yuichiro Katsumoto was kind enough to answer a couple of questions:

Is E.T. an expansion of AMAGATANA? You first developed the sword/umbrella then decided to apply the principle to other objects, is that how it went?

Bingo! For AMAGATANA, an acceleration sensor is embedded in an umbrella. Therefore, it’s nothing more than an umbrella which makes a sound of sword. So we took a sensor out of the AMAGATANA and applied it to a wristband with a RFID reader.

0amagatana.jpgWhat was the biggest challenge you encountered while working on E.T?

In creating ET, we developed two devices each called “BracelET” and “PockET”. BracelET is a wristband with an RFID reader and acceleration sensor. PockET consists of a PC(Vaio Type U) and a system software which runs on PockET. The user wears the BracelET on the arm and PockET on the hip. When the user touches an object, BracelET reads its RFID tag, and PockET makes a sound according to user’s action. We think that this new experience with the combination of technologies is innovative and challenge.

Anyway, fact is stranger than fiction. However, we cannot just behave like heroes in movies and video games as we are people who live in the real world. ET solves this despair. ET changes our daily life itself into play. ET will correspond to all commodity objects which surrounded us. Every act can become play. Finally, our life will be stranger than fiction!

Thanks Yuichiro!

Movie of Amagatana.
Related: Control Freaks.