Category Archives: Leisure

Before Skynet becomes self aware, we will have a brief grace period where technology and design conspire to let us reallocate time to evolving concepts of entertainment.

Thinking About Nonsense Jobs

Be forewarned: this piece is not nearly as DomestiTechy as much as it is future- and forward- leaning. It was prompted by the last piece about the savings and costs of more artificial intelligences in our daily lives. After I hit publish, I thought back to an article that I really enjoyed in The Sydney Morning Herald this past September: “The modern phenomenon of nonsense jobs” (though the way the title appears in the browser’s tab is better). In it, David Graeber, a professor at the London School of Economics, asks why, despite monumental advances in technology, haven’t we achieved the 15-hour work week anticipated by John Maynard Keynes in 1930. His answer: the rise of “bullshit jobs.” What can I possibly say after something like that other than “Go read the piece. It’s worth it.”

I, Vacuum Cleaner: Thinking about Consumer Robotics

Consumer robotics is a fascinating, and largely accessible, aspect of a smart(er) home. The nice thing about consumer robotic devices is that they take chores that few of us look forward to or cherish and pass them onto machines that (until Skynet becomes self-aware) simply don’t care about losing an hour or two on what we could consider to be a precious weekend afternoon. As it becomes easier to build robotic prototypes, we might see them pop up in more aspects of our life.  Continue reading

Virtual Reality: Rifts, Omnis, and Alien Encounters

Kyle Orland had a great article over at Ars Technica yesterday entitled, “Virtual Perfection: Why 8K resolution per eye isn’t enough for perfect VR.” The piece is based on conversations with executives and senior staff from Oculus VR, the makers of the Oculus Rift. The Oculus Rift is one of the technologies that I am truly excited about when it comes to the future of entertainment. Why? Because of the guy’s reaction in this video: “I don’t want to be in here anymore.” That he says “in here” speaks volumes about how immersive the experience seems to be to the user. Continue reading

Luxurious Shipping Containers

I am fascinated with the idea of repurposing used shipping containers into cool living, working, and recreational spaces. The Stankey brothers’ Holyoke Cabin sparked my interest and, since reading about their ideas and experiences, I have been amazed at the diversity of designs and uses for shipping containers. Among the more interesting, in my opinion, are things like Castor Design’s Sauna Box. The appeal of the Sauna Box is the idea that what many of us consider to be a taste of luxury lies is not as far out of reach as we might think. OK, so the $41,000 price tag for the Sauna Box is a bit beyond the reach of my credit card…but I think the underlying idea has incredible appeal and merit. Continue reading