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Mui Lab’s Milan Design Week Exhibit to Showcase Beautiful Blending of IoT into Daily Life with Calm Technology
News Release

Mui Lab’s Milan Design Week Exhibit to Showcase Beautiful Blending of IoT into Daily Life with Calm Technology

May 25, 2022

Connected system incorporating both furniture and human action as necessary elements of human-digital interaction

MILAN (May 25, 2022) – At Milan Design Week 2022 to be held from June 5-12, mui Lab, Inc., the Kyoto-based calm technology startup, will showcase its IoT system that turns furniture and other ordinary items into interfaces, using everyday human action as a prompt for digital sequence. For example, opening a curtain in the morning will prompt the “mui Board” (mui’s wooden interface device) on the wall to display a pleasant message to get your day off to the right start, the lights will slowly turn on when you wipe down your dining table, and lively atmospheric music will start playing when you put a vase on the table as breakfast begins.

Because these “traditional” everyday objects allow natural movements of the human body – unlike conventional smart screen devices, which are used as remote controllers to operate smart home devices, that force people to crouch over them to tap and swipe – the system can create a strain-free digital environment that better serves users’ total well-being, while also keeping technology out of their consciousness.

“Smart screens demand all your attention to the small glass surfaces. Our mui IoT system expands the interactive dimension to encompass your entire home by seamlessly integrating technology into the items that you naturally reach for as part of your routine,” mui Lab CEO Kaz Oki said. “This not only creates a calm environment where humans and technology can peacefully cohabit, but also fosters their physical relationships with – and emotional attachment to – the objects around them through the sense of touch, sensations often lost in today’s digital society.”

Mui’s system is designed with the focus on the following: 

  1. Expansion of interactive dimension: Our mui IoT system expands the interactive sphere on the smart screen three-dimensionally to encompass entire home, incorporating both objects (furniture) and human action as necessary elements of human-digital interaction.
  2. Physicality: Our system uses everyday human action as a prompt to adjust the home environment, so people can live comfortably and achieve their total well-being without making any conscious effort, physically or mentally, to use technology. 
  3. Sustainability: People who use our system will recognize furniture as the medium with which to adjust their home environment. We believe this will prompt them to develop a sense of attachment to furniture – and eventually sustainable love for things around them.  

Interview with Amber Case

Amber Case is a cyborg anthropologist and a writer of “Calm Technology” published in 2015. Amber became an advisor of mui Lab as of April 1.

I think the value of the mui Lab exhibit is to show people different ways of interacting with technology, a way of having harmony with everyday actions in your life, and how those can wake up the house alongside you.  It's really important to notice the the nuance of calm tech, it's not invisible, it's passed through. Take the window for example. When you see through the window, you are not focusing on the window. You are focusing outside of the window.  When we think about the idea of user interface, we forget that user interfaces are all around us. They're the handle on a door. They're the window that you look through connect with the external world, the chair that you're sitting at, in fact, a lot of user interfaces are furniture. So when we think of mui Lab who's making a new kind of furniture, with something inside of it that's beautiful and harmonious, you can have this anywhere in your house and it can blend in with your environment. 

Amber Case

You can find the full Interview here:

Mui Lab’s Exhibits at Milan Design Week 2022

IoT for Calm Digital Living’ (Casa Cozy)@SuperDesign Show 2022
Superstudio Più- Via Tortona 27, Milan
June 5 (3-8 p.m.) VIP & Press Preview (by invitation only)
June 6-June 11 (11 a.m.-9 p.m.)& June 12 (11 a.m.-6 p.m.)

‘mui Board’ Exhibit @Archiproducts Milano
Archiproducts Milano, Via Tortona 31 20144 Milan
June 6-12

The exhibit is made possible by the sponsorship and cooperation of the following companies:
Sponsor: INTELLEX Co., Ltd. (Space design) 
Cooperation: ARIAKE COLLECTION (furniture); Wacom (ink technology); Kvadrat (curtain); 2016/ (ceramics); Shibukusa Ryuzo Pottery (ceramic vase); Gak Sato (sounds); tamotsu ito architecture office (space design); Yasuko Iba & Kenta Shibano (print work) + Takafumi Toriimoto (printer)
Photo by Yuki Nobuhara

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