With the rapid development of technology woven into the fabric of our daily life, lots of design researchers explore various new possibilities of technologies surrounding us. Unlike the current technology which always takes away time and seeks efficiency in functionality, the slow technology proposed by Hallnäs and Redström aims at designing a technology with slowness in appearance. As the ChatterBox uses the chat messages collected from office mails and electronic documents as a simple material and makes the digital information list randomly to provide entertainment, the Photobox recreates an interactive form that uses the slow presence of time as a resource for evoking the reflection of technology and amplifies given environment in time (Fig.1).
Fig.1 Photobox (http://markmakedo.co.uk/portfolio/photobox/)
Little Printer (by Burgcloud) offers a ready-to-print mechanism through wireless connection to the cloud storage and web in our daily life (Fig.2). This technology elicits lots of responses from users on bergcloud.com, and indeed, it changes our inherent behavior with respect to life recording (see also). In contrast to Photobox that explores the value of serendipity and the slowness of technology, Little Printer provides a set of APPs for printing or recording the present via thermal paper to embrace the culture of snap, and intentionally creates those disposable but funny (ludic) prints. I critique this design with two understandings:
Critical reflection of technology: Little Printer presents the daily information in terms of disposable thermal paper and Photobox delivers the unexpected pictures to create new lived experience. Both of them position the critique within daily practice, and establish new point of views in contrast to consumer electronics nowadays.
Complexity in form but simplicity in material: while the computing power is not the main issue we need to address, the progress of technology provides designers more material imaginations to change our future. To sum up, the key concept of designing a slow technology is to amplify the understanding and presence of time for human beings to rethink and reflect.
Fig.2 Little Printer (http://bergcloud.com/littleprinter/)