Tim Brown on Bill Moggridge


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Happy Birthday Barcodes

60 years and 1 day ago, the patent for barcodes was filed in the US.

And much like the tin opener, they proceded the widespread technology to use them. Brilliant foresight or just naivety?

Whatever the answer to that question, the fact that pretty much every physical product in the world involves barcodes in some form or another means that they got something right.

60 years is a long time for a technology to hold its own and, for the foreseeable future, they don’t look like to be a dying one. I just hope Mr Barcode inventor has earnt his just rewards for an understated but quite brilliant bit of the modern world.


Google Glasses Reality Check

For anyone who think the forthcoming Google Project Glasses are the coolest things ever, I will point you in the direction of Black Mirror, a Channel 4 programme written by Charlie Brooker. The show, one of a three-part twisted and cynical look at the future of society, was very successful in the UK but I’m not sure on its impact further afield.

This dark and alternative view of the future, that pre dated the announcement by Google, predicts a virtual memory implanted into every human. Sounds like a cool idea but the implications are much more deep rooted…

Certainly worth a look whatever your viewpoint is on Google.


An Unlikely Hero of Design

Alan Turing.

Last year, my course mates and I were asked at university who our favourite designer are. Around the room we had Jonny Ive and James Dyson repeated a number of times but I went for Alan Turing. Surprising to my fellows and surprising to me, they didn’t know who I was talking about.

One of the pioneers of the modern computing ages, Turing was ‘the’ codebreaker for the British in WWII and helped crack the unbreakable enigma code with his thinking machine. Turing has been awarded with a Google doodle and his own Monopoly board this year, the highest recognition any genius can have!

His story is fascinating if not dark and I recommend Channel 4’s ‘Genius of Britian’ as a great introduction to the man.

Mathematican by trade but one of the most inspirational designers ever.