Durrell Bishop’s Marble Answering Machine

The Marble Answering Machine (by Durrell Bishop, student at the Royal College of Art, 1992) is a prototype telephone answering machine. Incoming voice messages are represented by marbles, the user can grasp and then drop to play the message or dial the caller automatically. It shows that computing doesn’t have to take place at a desk, but it can be integrated into everyday objects. The Marble Answering Machine demonstrates the great potential of making digital information graspable.

Durrell Bishop is a partner in Luckybite with Tom Hulbert, working on physical interfaces, product design and interactive media. Prior to this he was a senior interaction designer at IDEO Europe. He co-founded Itch, which won a D&AD Gold award for large-scale work on the Science Museum Welcome Wing, and he was a partner in Dancing Dog, working on camera-based interfaces to computer games.

Durrell is a part-time tutor at the Royal College of Art, where he has taught on Interaction Design and Product Design. In the mid-90s he was a researcher in Computer Related Design at the RCA, spending time working with Interval Research in California, where he has also worked as a designer with Apple Computers Advanced Technology Group and IDEO. He did both an MA in Computer Related Design and an MA in Product Design at the RCA, after gaining a BA in Industrial Design at the Central School

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