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June 17, 2005

No more pouring yoghurt in the coffee

Yesterday morning I was crumbling together an empty milk carton from the Danish dairy Thise. Suddenly my fingers crossed a series of dots which I had not noticed before. Indeed, it was a Braille printout embossed on the milk carton.

While I'm sure the superior smell senses - and in other situations touch - of blind people avoids mishappenings like those suggested in the title, it seems common sense that all products should have a braille readout embossed on them for easy identification at, for example, the supermarket, or when taking medication.

The use of sensory cues (even though I can't read Braille) quickly got me thinking about Matt Webb's, Chris Heathcote's, and Ben Cerveny's presentations at reboot7 this last weekend. In the digital world we so often rely more on the minimalistic defensive strategies of recognition so avidly pushed by the likes of Jacob Nielsen, than the use of senses and emotions, pushed - each in their own way - by Chris, Matt and Ben alike.

I wonder how digital tagging of physical objects through RFID (future) and barcodes (now) will change space and senses. Chris gave us some hints in his tangible computing session (should maybe be renamed tactile computing?) at reboot. Googling for hints shows that we're low on experience as the closest thing to a braille barcode reader was the talking barcode scanner.

Posted by Nikolaj Nyholm at June 17, 2005 05:55 PM

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