A recent article out of the MIT Media Lab caught my attention as it was for a “Junkyard Jumbotron”, what is a “Jumbotron” you ask? Do you remember seeing where in the old days before projectors and big screen TV’s they would take a bunch of televisions and stack them together then split the video signal to show a portion of one image on all sets to form together as a single large image. Well as you could guess this took a lot of gadgetry in the analog days and in the digital era as mentioned big screens and projectors became the norm so who needs it?
Well enter a bunch of geeks from MIT who decided it was a concept worth revisiting again, however this time they took a different twist in taking disparate devices such as computers, cell phones, tablets and the like to join together forming an ad-hoc community if you will. Here you go to a URL which displays a bar code on each screen, one then takes a “picture” of the screens together, e-mailing it then to a central server which performs an analysis of the image for scale and then breaks up your target image into pieces and sending those individual “pieces” to each device in the “jumbotron” array.
Ok, neat trick and fun to play with however what is the practical application of this and why is this worth a post with 500 and some words? This was my feelings at first, however it dawned on me some of the hardest answers are the simplest and typically right in front of us. This is one of them as it creates a closed information loop which connects disconnected and unrelated objects to perform a collaborative task. What, you don’t understand Greek?
Let’s look at it from a different angle as much like the “junkyard jumbotron” we all in our daily life work as a cog in some wheel like it or not that is the reality of it. In this cog we all have different skills and abilities and the key of leadership is to understand and align those to achieve some specified task or goal. However how is this best done as its pretty much just by gut feel, however what if we applied the same closed loop logic and analytics to solve organizational problems. When speaking of solutions being right in front of us, we solved many problems in this fashion by understanding how a spider weaves a web or how a snake moves along with no legs.
Here the “junkyard jumbotron” allows us to visualize the logic which makes up a closed loop system in that we share with the system our target “devices”, and in turn the system shares with the “devices” a “common” yet unique moniker in the form of a bar code in this case. In the feedback loop the combined images of the monikers which have shared with the “system” information about each device. In turn the “system” can then take “action” in this case dividing up the image or it could divide up “work” just as easy based upon its discovered parameters.
Outside of rekindling Max Headroom’s stutter, what ideas can you come up with for the “junkyard jumbotron” or its logic…