Bridging digital with physical

c60 Redux from IDEO on Vimeo.

This is a very cool concept from IDEO Boston. I love the return of physicality to music as it’s something I definitely miss as well. Seeing the use of RFID has me thinking that it will be possible for an idea like this to happen pretty realistically as well. The current c60 Concept is just that … but with phones and NFC quite a bit could be possible beyond this initial view.

Starting next week, a mainstream (one you want) device will be in market with NFC, the Google Nexus S. As Engadget handily pointed out, there are three types of communication possible with the chip: Send, Receive and Exchange. Exchange is really where things could get interesting.

The table shown in the video is really just a proxy for the computer and represents the place where we share together. Through NFC, an enterprising developer could enable all my music cards through the current media player.

Imagine if the current iPad iTunes layout allowed for more of a tap and share between friends. Hey check this out and you could listen and see the liner notes as we hung out. I know the Apple Remote, GoogleTV, Boxee etc all allow some level of control over Wifi, but there’s no way to easily do this with another person without relinquishing control or first syncing your devices. NFC could provide that simple gestural authorization … because we are close and actually together.

A fair bit has to evolve for the physical to be properly extended here. I would love to see the return of liner notes (not just lame PDFs) but interactive documents we could review while listening and even pass to a friend when listening together. Music is inherently social, yet most of it seems to happen through portable players with headphones now.

This may still be a bit half-baked, but there’s definitely something here …

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