The Internet allows us to connect with friends in every corner of the world, but sometimes a physical, tangible link in the communication can make its absence felt. A nightstand with embedded printer and scanner, John Kestner's Tableau puts a physical experience in networking with family and friends, and makes viewing and sharing photos via Twitter as simple and natural as opening and closing a drawer.
On the outside, the Tableau may not look like much — it's an antique-looking nightstand constructed from reclaimed materials, with a single cable sticking out of it — but it's really on the inside that the magic happens. When a piece of paper is dropped into its drawer, the data is scanned and sent over WiFi or a cellular network to the user's Twitter account. When a picture is sent to the predefined account, the nightstand quietly prints it and drops it in the drawer, as the softly glowing knob invites the owner to open it.
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The most compelling aspect of the Tableau is really the "user" experience it offers, the way technology and everyday life come together to make a complicated computing task such as this fit into the flow of the daily routine. The only consumable is Zink paper, which requires no separate ink and is placed in a back paper drawer.
The Tableau is about usability, too. Constructed from recouped materials, this high-tech nightstand is already on its second life and ready for its third: a basic interface is accessible and extensible through Twitter, allowing the drawer to be reprogrammed and repurposed. According to Kestner, this means that it can remain functional for a long time, unlike typical consumer electronics.
Via InhabitatView gallery - 3 images