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Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire, and the Internet of Things Hardcover – July 15, 2014

ISBN-13: 978-1476725635 ISBN-10: 1476725632

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (July 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476725632
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476725635
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"David Rose has written a spectacular book. While glass slabs have already entered every nook and cranny of our lives, Rose paints a much more compelling future where we are deeply engaged with enchanted objects. Rose’s vision of human computer interaction is more exciting and persuasive than the current norm and this brilliant book gives us a road map for how to get there. While I’ll continue to invest in many things that improve our glass slab world, I believe that the future is enchanted objects." (Brad Feld, Managing Director at Foundry Group)

“Beyond the internet of things we find the internet of enchanted objects, a medium designed for pre-attentive cognition, conveying information subliminally and delightfully. I highly recommend this book. It is filled with evocative examples that will influence our imagination and help us move beyond our fixation on the screen.” (John Seely Brown,former chief scientist, Xerox, and visiting scholar at the University ofSouthern California)

"David Rose's vision for enchanted objects and their platforms is spot on. With this book, he offers innovators and businesses a convincing guide for success in this space." (Glenn Lurie, President, Emerging Enterprises and Partnerships, AT&T Mobility)

“David Rose does not predict. He extrapolates the future from personal experience and technical fluency. His balance between a romantic humanism and scientific destiny is unique. His storytelling is intellectually rich, laced with history and never pedantic. Enchanted Objects is a truly enlightening read.” (Nicholas Negroponte, Professor and Co-Founder, MIT Media Lab; author of Being Digital; a founder of WiReD Magazine)

"Delightful. . . . In the scrum of talking heads wrestling to gain control of the narrative behind the Internet of Things, Mr. Rose is an engaging, plain-spoken guide." (The New York Times)

"Rose touches something significant to most of us... A fine tour d’horizon of innovative enchantment and its ground rules and responsibilities." (Kirkus Reviews)

"In the fully realized, enchanted world of David Rose...objects that, once instructed, require no human prompting to function, already exist. They're part of the Internet of Things, an ethereal interconnection of gadgets and human desires that...will pervade our lives in the very near future." (Wall Street Journal)

"Provocative." (Fast Company)

About the Author

David Rose is an award-winning entrepreneur and instructor at the MIT Media Lab, specializing in how digital information interfaces with the physical environment. A former CEO at Vitality, he founded Ambient Devices, which pioneered technology to embed Internet information in everyday objects like lamps, mirrors, and umbrellas. CEO of Ditto Labs, Rose has been featured in The New York Times and parodied on The Colbert Report. A frequent speaker at conferences and for corporations, he lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his wife and two children. Enchanted Objects is his first book.

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Customer Reviews

I most liked the thoughts this book provokes around enchanting bigger things, say, the world. for example.
Jeff Bennett
At the moment I am reading this “MARVELOUS” book, to be honest it is one of the best book I have read, I am enchanted with that.
Marcelo Hector Gonzalez
More importantly the principles David extracts from those examples and his experiences are insightful and well articulated.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Rosebrook111 on August 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book will be fascinating if you are new to technology ( maybe you were on a three year meditation retreat?) and would like to be enlightened by the amazing possibilities of connecting objects to the Internet. But if you have read even a few articles about modern technology, or even a couple of recent issues of Wired magazine, most of this will sound old to you. Unfortunately Guitar Hero seems like ages ago, and this book makes a big deal out of it. It does not help that the author mentions his own work every few pages, which gets tiring. While the tone is that of a walk through the wonders of technology, the book does not address many of the cultural, privacy and other issues related to the developments he describes. In a post-Snowden world it is hard to read the book without these issues coming to mind.
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful By MartinB on August 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This book might be interesting if you know absolutely nothing about the IoT... but really you do... If you use a fitBit, or have a Nest at home, you are already part way there.

The domain is quite interesting and sexy but this book doesn't do justice to it. I found the the ratio of information to noise to be quite bad… well, what I personally consider noise. I don’t care about Frodo’s sword being an enchanted object. I don’t care about Hermes winged sandals, or Dorothy’s shoes… or all of the Harry Potter gadgets or the alethiometer from the Golden Compass… There’s just too much time spent on what the author calls dialectic (which somewhat appears to link past concepts to what we see today)… For example, the author links some of the items I just mentioned: Hermes shoes, Dorothy’s slippers and Nike+ as part of the same dialectic… anyways, that’s what I got from it… practically though, my opinion is that these associations (that takes way too much space in his book) just don’t bring anything to the discussion.

Ultimately, it might be an ok book if you're totally out of the field but if you are working in IT or the like, it's not worth buying.

That being said, I enjoyed a few pages towards the end when there is discussion about the next generation apartment. I almost enjoyed the interconnectedness of the IoT...but alas these were just mentioned in passing.
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Michael McGettigan on August 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Seldom has an Internet-of-Things apostle demonstrated what's wrong with the Internet Brainset so concisely; --here's David Rose, from his book Enchanted Objects, raving about a program that would recognize images to link to commercial sites: "Ditto realizes a dream I've had about photography and the future of cameras. Imagine being able to click on any object in a photo to learn more, book travel, see prices, even buy it for a friend or yourself... shoes link to Zappos, people to LinkedIn, furniture to eBay, ... restaurants to OpenTable... The camera becomes the enchanted object for learning and shopping...." What a brazen and greedy little dream Mr. Rose has--where every photograph is now a pimp, every camera a cash register, every shutter click a contract of sale. It is the rare book indeed that can make me wish I could turn every copy so that its title spine is facing in, but Mr. Rose's neo-Philistine lifestyle guide has managed it. In the past, people have talked about being enslaved by their posessions--now an Internet of Things could make it a reality, where we become, perhaps not slaves, more like -pets- of our possessions. I am going out to take some photographs, with the sole intent of capturing a viewpoint of a moment for myself, and maybe a few friends; these photos won't move the needle on someone's ledger, they will be photographs--which, for me, is enough. -- Michael McGettigan, Trophy Bikes, Philadelphia.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed reading this book, and highly recommend it. I’ve worked in various corners of embedded computing for over 30 years, and I found the book informative, inspiring and entertaining. Others note that the examples may be a bit Media Lab centric, but, hey, there are a lot of interesting things going on at the Media Lab. More importantly the principles David extracts from those examples and his experiences are insightful and well articulated. I believe this is a must read for anyone interested in moving computing beyond the glass slab to better enhance the real world.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Julias R. Shaw on August 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is excellent for two different groups of people... People who are excited about the Internet of Things (IoT) and want to understand the current state of the art then the many examples will get up to speed quickly. On the other hand if you are ready to start designing your own enchanted objects then David's Six Human Drives, Seven Abilities of Enchantment, and Five Level Ladder of Enchantment provide a framework for turning everyday objects into amazing products.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Paul Sas on July 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Absolutely enchanting. David Rose synthesizes a treasure trove of insights collected since at least the early noughties, when he started Ambient Devices.
The book's argument is mesmerizing: Ordinary objects can be magically transformed by adding just the right amount of digital intelligence. The examples are beautiful (consider the umbrella on the cover, which lights up charmingly when rain is predicted). The vista described could only come from someone who's been trained in both physics and design. The author has woven a path that gives him the sharpest informational feed via on-going research in the Tangible Media group at MIT's Media Lab. Yet, instead of merely provocational demos, his ideas also kickstart into companies that hone his vision by competing to deliver delightful products (Ambient Devices being one example, and intelligent GlowCaps yet another).
No one has pulled together a better account of a path toward emotionally engaging experiences. The book's framework organizes numerous instances where whimsy can be combined with deep digitial signal processing power by thinking deeply about human needs/desires. Each chapter builds out his alluring argument. First, that tech trends (ubiquitous glass screens; prosthetic/bionic support; socially endowed robotics) converge to grant us access to Enchanted Objects.
Few would argue that computational power offers us almost unlimited power. David Rose's most valuable contribution is harnessing that power to a soaring imagination.
He maps out 6 human drives (Omniscience, Telepathy, Safekeeping, Immortality, Teleportation, Expression), often drawing inspiration from myths, fairy tales, fantasy, and super hero comics.
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