The Teddy

“Teddys would be with their user for their entire lives. They would change in shape and form to match the growing sophistication and interests of the person, but each time someone got a new model Teddy, the information from the earlier version would be transferred to the new. As a result, Teddy would always retain a complete record of all the person’s personal experiences and knowledge for an entire lifetime even as it changed in physical form.”

“Eventually, as people came to rely upon their Teddys, they would reach a point where they would be disoriented without them. After all, with a Teddy, you would never be alone. You could always talk to Teddy. It would never desert its owner. It could be programmed to give reassurances, to follow progress on a task and to make appropriate suggestions. It could serve as a continual reminder of names and dates: time to do exercise, to phone home, buy gifts, etc. “

From Don Norman’s The Teddy, originally Chapter 6 of Turn Signals are the facial expressions of automobiles (wondeful title but the book failed to sell and is now out of print).

Personally I suspect my electronic Teddy would get left on the beach sometime around when I was 5, like my stuffed fur one did. The phrase “You could always talk to Teddy” raises visions of Microsoft Councillor Version 6.5 and so on….. uggh. There are some saving graces to the hideously poor ‘glass teletype with pointer’ computer interfaces we have at present!

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