Simplicity in Technology

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We live in the age of hyper-gadgetry, and of a desperate longing to simplify. Lives loaded with high technology that promises power and convenience, and leave us spluttering in frustration over tangled software and hundred-page user manuals.

The super cell phone that won't take a call. The PC that dazzles and grinds to a halt. The television remote with a dozen buttons you've never used.

Functionality sells. It also overwhelms. People celebrate the iPod, in part, because it's just so darn simple.

This hour On Point: we'll look at the hot new gadgets of the holidays 2006, and talk with tech simplicity guru John Maeda about his laws for simplifying: reduce, trust, open and more.


Steven Levy, Newsweek magazine senior editor and technology writer

John Maeda, professor of media arts and sciences at MIT's Media Lab and founder of the SIMPLICITY Consortium at the Media Lab. He is the author of "The Laws of Simplicity"

Rob Pegoraro, Washington Post Consumer Technology columnist

Lesley Alderman, deputy editor at Real Simple magazine

This program aired on November 14, 2006.


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