Returning to tactile with Tableau

John Kester describes the Tableau:

Remember when we made a connection by handing someone a photo? As our social circle spreads across a wider geographic area, we look for ways to share experiences. Technology has reconnected us to some extent, but we fiddle with too many cables and menus, and those individual connections get drowned out.

Tableau acts as a bridge between users of physical and digital media, taking the best parts of both. It's a nightstand that quietly drops photos it sees on its Twitter feed into its drawer, for the owner to discover. Images of things placed in the drawer are posted to its account as well.

Tableau is an anti-computer experience. A softly glowing knob that almost imperceptibly shifts color invites interaction without demanding it. The trappings of electronics are removed except for a vestigial cable knob for the paper tray. The nightstand drawer becomes a natural interface to a complex computing task, which now fits into the flow of life.

I love this so much.

I miss and crave the tactile side of communication: ripping open letters, leafing through photos, the nuance of handwriting, and so on. Spending all day behind email and Twitter can make conversation feel a lot more like vapor. This brings it back.

Brent DixonComment