This Saturday Night Live Digital Short is a great little critique of design absurdity and malfunction. The attention to dysfunctional details across the Starbuck’s experience, i.e. condiments table, is excellent. And the line extension with a “larger, non-functioning machine” is genius. It’s funny, if also pretty racist in a 1980′s kind of way. Speaking of 1980′s, I like the nod to Knight Rider— note that the Verismo’s illuminated voice indicator is taken from KIT.
This prototype from Portland based Ryno Motors really is super cool and pushes the blah blah blah boundaries of personal transportation and blah blah innovation and engineering but what really interests me is the developers quote in the film: “This is a personal transportation product that’s in between the cracks of urban transportation so I can ride it on the sidewalk. I can go through a lobby. I can go into an elevator. I can go on the train. I can go anywhere a pedestrian wants to go.” I disagree. The measured footprint and agility of a machine should not be the sole criteria that we use to judge whether it is fit to occupy the same outdoor spaces as pedestrians. This is a growing issue with the increased presence of electric bicycles. And as the market grows I think we will see increased regulation and licensing of these innovative modes of personal transportation that counter the utopian free wheeling visions of their innovators.