You should know about the MIT Media Lab. Why? Because the Media Lab develops the technologies of the future.
I personally believe the future of technology will not stem from Apple or a current tech giant. Rather, the wave of of technology will barrel as an array of innovations from the small teams made up of the 7 billion makers. Often to innovate in a big firm, one must obtain permission to gain access to the resources. However, in an age when the tools for innovation have become increasingly available, the small team looking to change the world stands as much chance as a major player trying to do so. As Joi Ito says, “You don’t get a Nobel Prize for being obedient.”
Those who develop the capacity to think outside of the box and learn through hands on experimentation can change the world. The MIT Media Lab developed precisely this capacity. Nearly 400 intensely smart people gathered with an interdisciplinary background, or “anti-disciplinary” as Joi considers them. The products of their curiosity will blow you away. Pranav Mistry’s TED talk on the Sixth Sense technology offers a great example of the mind-boggling creations that result from tons of tinkering.
Honestly, every group and project at the Media Lab has fascinating perspectives to share. Being intensely curious about wearable media, spatial media, tangible media, and the future of the music experiences though – I decided to share my four favorite groups and projects currently.
- Tangible Media experiments with how to design seamless interfaces between humans, digital information, and the physical environment.
- Responsive Environments experiments with how sensor networks augment and mediate human experience, interaction, and perception.
- Lifelong Kindergarten experiments with how to engage people in creative learning experiences.
- Opera of the Future experiments with how musical composition, performance, and instrumentation can lead to innovative forms of expression, learning, and health.