I received something in the mail the other day.
stak. The Legend.
I should say staks, as two Standard Sets came out of the box. I have them for the quite apparent purpose of writing blog entries like these, for something not quite so visible -yet- which is designing our instagram and other forms of video/photo I’ll be working on, and lastly for that whole thing of me working for a company whose main product I have never possessed.
Here’s my concise review because let’s be honest: reviews, especially those on blogs like these, tend to be not only artless but also, more importantly, uninteresting. Most are also biased, but I can’t tell you I won’t be.
stak is solid, but light.
The magnetic click of attaching a Mod is
as satisfying as a nice cup of coffee
on a morning with not so much to do.
I don’t mean this lightly, a good cup of coffee is an unrivaled good.
The click really is one of the best parts of stak.
It does what it should and it does not feel in any way cheap.
It feels like it at once has and still lacks identity.
It feels like something new.
This one will take some more explaining.
Of course, every device, every invention is new.
And maybe google home and stuff, it all feels new to someone cause it is
But, let’s take something that we know, something that’s old and unchanged
A fan, a cup, a toilet, maybe a light bulb.
A light bulb say you?
How about a light bulb that won’t fizzle out and die
that also contains all those connective digital remote control devices
you have scattered around your house to varied degrees of utility?
That’s more what I mean that it feels new.
Taking something that is established as a household necessary,
and breathing life into it.
This is, originally, the good in all these devices was it not?
I don’t want to just rattle on about this – but in all seriousness
I think replacing, renovating, and redesigning the stuff we already do have around the house is a much more honest and productive goal (though not necessarily as lucrative) than trying to convince people that you’ve got the next home necessity and they need you to give it to them.
Here’s where I’ll be honest:
• The app needs to feel more finished and stylish.
• The device needs more mods. With only two, we lose all the fun of swapping mods and experiencing all the potential stak has.
• The light mod got pretty hot (not overheating or anything) in the wall socket, and I need to find out if the device is set to handle different countries varying voltages.
• I want to change the color of the light (this is in the works).
That’s what I have.
Most importantly, and I say this with full honesty as it’s both a positive and negative:
I can feel absolutely the potential in the device.
The task at hand, then, is to help it live up to the potential.
I will also say this with honesty: there was someone who, in the development or brainstorming process, thought how they felt when they clicked a physical lock to shut a door, or when they flickered the lights on and off as a kid back before they had to yell to the room at large to a robot to do it for you…
and they remembered that it’s a good feeling.
I have come to believe rather wholeheartedly that tech is a wonderful thing for the world – but I believe more than ever that we humans, as physical beings in a physical world, not only prefer but need physical sensations.
Farming, taking hikes, hugging your dog, hugging a friend, biting into a cookie.
There is no replacement for these.
There is no improvement for these.
There is no automated process to create the satisfaction that comes from feeling your own existence in this world.
Mostly, I believe the right mix of old and new is, well, right.
To me, neither extreme is the right answer.
The right answer comes amidst the consideration after knowing the two extremes.
stak might not be quite there yet, but it’s built to become so.
Unlike a lot of gadgets, it’s not here to grab the market, get rich quick and get out.
It’s built not to add stuff, but to hone the stuff we already have.
It feels like a new old in the best way.