Josh and the magic candle

Big Medium’s Josh Clark will keynote the Delight conference in Portland, OR, October 5–7, 2015. In an interview with Delight’s Guy Bourgault, Josh offered a sneak peek] at the ideas behind his talk, Magical UX and the Internet of Things.

I think Google Glass is a great example of what happens when you allow technology to lead at the expense of imagination: ‘We’ve got a camera, a processor, and these little tiny screens, and what if we put it all on your face?’ Rather than just saying, ‘What if these glasses were magic? What are the possibilities of creating a magic vision or a magic lens for things?’ And I think you get very different answers to those questions because it’s really about what’s the fundamental characteristic about the glasses or about vision that we can enhance?

That’s why magic is such an interesting thing. We have centuries of experience of myths and legend, of telling ourselves stories that ask what it would be like if part of the physical world was magic. What if this mirror was magic? What if this carpet was magic? These regular, everyday, mundane objects, what if they were lit up with a little bit of smarts and power? They still work as their original object, and we manipulate them like the original object, but they can also do something special. And we have design patterns in place, because we already know what a magic mirror is supposed to do. We know what magic rings are for. It’s these things that we’ve been telling ourselves in stories forever. We have a shared idea of what they are. It’s a very different vision of the future from the more science fiction-based, technology-focused future—where screens are everywhere. When you think of magic, it leads to a more organic, humane vision of what the future might be.

For more, read the full interview, and we’ll see you in Portland!

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