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Ambient Furniture and more, at this week's Media Lab member meeting [ Video ]

Posted by Scott Kirsner  April 23, 2012 02:48 PM

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Any time you visit the MIT Media Lab, you can expect to stumble across some jaw-dropping whiz-bangery... and that's doubly true when the researchers there pull out all the stops to impress the major corporations who fund the lab. It happens this week at the lab's spring member meeting, with presentations on bionic limbs, synthetic organisms, intelligent software agents, fluid interfaces, and "engineering memories." (Paging Philip K. Dick.)

Giving one of the talks is Media Lab lecturer David Rose. He's a local entrepreneur who founded Ambient Devices and, more recently, Vitality, a Cambridge startup that created a line of smart pill bottles that could remind you to take your medicine — and notify a family member or doctor when you'd missed a dose.

Rose's latest work at the Media Lab focuses on household objects that have wireless connectivity, barcode scanners, and displays built in. Essentially, what if your coffee table could display your Facebook photo albums as you talked about a recent vacation? What if your trash can could scan empty packages and automatically re-order products from Amazon? What if your doorbell could chime when your kids were on the way home, using location info from Google Latitude?

The video overview is well worth a look... and if you want to follow the event's live webcast, it'll be here, starting Tuesday morning. You can also follow the Twitter hash tag MediaIO.

Ambient Furniture overview from David Rose on Vimeo.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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