The Aspirational Lamp collects solar energy, sells it back to the power grid and then invests in the stock market itself.
“We are now standing at the precipice of the next transformative development: the Internet of Things. Soon, connected technology will be embedded in hundreds of everyday objects we already use: our cars, wallets, watches, umbrellas, even our trash cans. These objects will respond to our needs, come to know us, and learn to think on our behalf,” researcher David Rose once said when defining ‘enchanted objects.’
Whether it’s homeowners hitting an Amazon Dash Button when in need of groceries or smart trash cans that reorder bags themselves, the world around us is becoming increasingly more connected and autonomous. With this is mind, students from the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design were challenged to explore a future in which the so-called dumb objects around them were able to look after their owners’ unspoken wants and desires.
One of the latest projects to emerge from the course was The Aspirational Lamp, a solar-powered accessory that can actually make money of its own during the day. Yes, you read that correctly. The lamp accomplishes this by soaking up the sun’s rays to generate electricity that it can then sell back to the power grid, and with the profits made from that, automatically invest in stocks. The enchanted item browses the market for good-looking investment opportunities while determining the optimal times to both buy and sell.
The brainchild of students Feild Craddock, Akshay Verma and Michael-Owen Liston, the AI-controlled desk lamp doesn’t just use electricity, but as its name would imply, rotates toward the sun to collect its own through a built-in solar panel. Aside from checking stock prices, it even appears to be self-diagnostic. Meaning, it can detect when a part like its servo motor begins to malfunction, then immediately order and pay for a replacement without any human intervention.
What the owners can control, however, is when to cash out. In this case, a check for the lamp’s remaining funds are automatically mailed to the owner. As far fetched as goals of selling power back to the grid may be, the basis of the project is to demonstrate that everyday objects will continue to become increasingly more connected and self-sufficient.
Intrigued? Watch it in action below!