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Storied Objects

Group: Media Fabrics Group
Researchers: Hyun-Yeul Lee & Glorianna Davenport
Project Web site: http://web.media.mit.edu/~hyun/research/objects/

Imagine when everyday objects such as the chair you sit on can tell you stories of its life. Designed with attention to the creation and expression of an historical perspective, Storied Objects present us with an object-centric view of their existence over time.

By acknowledging that an object's life can be reflected through storied output of its genealogy, history of social and cultural interactions, utilitarian features of the object, and many circumstances of which we are not aware, we explore methods for appropriate technological augmentation of an object, enabling the capture, reflection, sharing, and revealing of its stories.

We have devised a case study, the Audio Bench, that considers how the capability for recording and expressing history can add aesthetic and cultural value a "storiedness" to the object. In our approach, the bench is instrumented with sensors to continuously capture the passage of time in an audio stream. This stream is parsed in order to highlight extraordinary events from the perspective of the object. These events are then arranged such that the bench can express its everyday history to humans and/or other objects in a timely and aesthetically engaging way; we call this "audio time-lapse". The audio time-lapse provides a temporal compression of the historical stream.