Inspired by the popular, cross-cultural practice of marking children’s heights over the years on a doorway or wall in the home, mui Lab has partnered with Wacom to create a prototype for a wooden column that can serve that purpose while adding a digital dimension to the age-old tradition. Day-to-day it looks like nothing more than a column. When the digital interface is activated with a Wacom pen, the pillar lights up with the accumulated notations, which can track the growth of multiple children. The concept first debuted during Salone del Mobile in Milan earlier this year, and will also be exhibited during the upcoming IFA 2019 showcase in Berlin.
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The Kyoto-based startup strives to create IoT interfaces that enable a calm, digitally-connected lifestyle. They launched their flagship product via Kickstarter last year, a smart home control hub “for the post-smart screen era.” The height chart is a continuation of that ethos, and both products feature mui’s signature wooden touch panel, designed to remain unobtrusive in the home. “Private spaces should be a relief from constant connectivity,” they explain on their website. “[The hub] acts as a bridge between your focus and the outside world.” Users use the familiar swipe gesture to activate the wood panel, which prompts a subtle touch-screen display that works much like other cloud-enabled virtual assistants. It allows you to send text and voice messages, check the news and weather reports, control lighting and temperature in the home, and play music.
“Technology often feels cold and impersonal,” mui Lab CEO Kaz Oki says. “It also forces us to change our natural human behaviors to manipulate devices. At mui Lab, we strive to change that, one quiet design system at a time.”