The Weather Followers – Bringing serendipity to the digital life

Created by David Colombini as part of his diploma project at the Royal College of Art (IED), The Weather Followers is a commentary on 'smart' applications and predictive, comfortable digital routines. Instead of relying on 'accurate' data, intangible algorithms and hidden lines of code-driven lifestyles, the device brings serendipity to your digital life, using constantly evolving weather data recorded by four weather instruments. The Weather Followers helps us feel the speed and direction of the wind, the amount of particulate matter in the air, the intensity of the sun or the rhythm of the rain.

Nowadays, 'smart technologies' give the impression that the power to control and predict any event is at your fingertips. Paradoxically, with the growing computational power of those tools, people are assisting to a reduction of their free will. Opaque algorithms of applications such as Google assistant, Alexa, Siri or other AI applications are increasingly influencing daily actions and decisions of their users, and are being called on to make choices without necessarily asking consent, moving away from suggesting what the user might like to taking “the best” decisions. These apps are meant to optimize life, suggest (and sometimes automatically renew) the most efficient options or provide the most convenient solutions.

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