Dandella and thoughts about awareness+robotics

(via) Dandella by Tan Yong Kai and Priscilla Lui Sik Peng (Singapore). The device is a hand-held GPS tracking system that lights up and physically blends towards the location it is looking for OR another Dandella (synchronized with).

"Lost is a common global issue, especially for socially vulnerable people like young children and elderly in today's growing urban jungles. "Dandella", adopting the metaphorical image of a dandelion in flight, is a GPS device which aims to provide a user-centric geo-tracking solution. Inspired by how young sunflowers always point towards the sun, Dandella simplifies the complex interface of current GPS devices to a notion of "follow where it points". Combining existing GPS and robotic technology, Dandellas can be programmed to track each other and their buds response by pointing towards one another. The intuitive design allows users to find each other by following where the bud points, making it suitable for people of different ages from different walks of life.

β€œThe Dandella simplifies the often complex and confusing GPS interface, with many messy buttons and intimidating numbers,” Tan adds."

Why do I blog this? speaking about location-aware devices and mutual location-awareness in groups, this system is of particular interest because it deploys an innovative output interface: light and physical blending, something we're not often use to encounter. Most of the multi-user location-aware applications either use maps or verbal description of people's whereabouts.

Another aspect that I find interesting is the way this object is called: "robotic GPS companion". The surely shows the convergence between robotics and ubiquitous computing I was mentioning the other day. Why calling this a "robotic companion"? that's intriguing, is it because the system is - a sort-of - personified assistant that helps you find a place or buddies (other location-based services would do but they're not referred to as "robotics"). Is it because it's kawai?