This project may have nothing to do with wearables but I wanted to take a moment to share it with all of you because (1) it’s ridiculously fun and addictive (2) I’ve watched the artist/founder Jed Berk iterate on the concept for the past two years until he finally nailed the play experience and (3) I make a personal debut in the video— see if you can find me!
With this full disclosure behind us, let me tell you about the joys of ITSABOB, its past and its hopeful future.
ITSABOB is a toy that transforms the play experience with balloons. Simply put, it’s kinda like a yo-yo for balloons.
The play experience is so darn addictive for kids and adults alike because the interaction is designed around our shared experience and collective memory of letting a balloon go. Berk has aptly coined this the “you can let go” moment.
The interaction with the device is quite intuitive. You squeeze it to pull the balloon towards you, and the moment you release your grip, the balloon naturally floats up again. The ITSABOB enables you to recreate the feeling of letting a balloon slip through your fingertips over and over again.
Is that all it does?! Yup and that’s what makes it so fun and addictive.
The simplicity of the interaction was distilled from years of Berk working with inflatable forms. Prior to the ITSABOB, Berk created “intelligent” inflatables that “behaved like semi-domesticated animals.” Much of his artwork is programmed with simple behaviors (his work sings, floats, dances and even sleeps) which gives them an anthropomorphic quality and makes them profoundly relatable and even lovable.
It is Berk’s remarkable ability to tap into our simplest and purest emotions that makes his artwork and the ITSABOB enchanting .
Similar to his artwork where he transformed ordinary looking blimps into clumsy, playful creatures, Berk, with the ITSABOB, intends to evolve ordinary balloons into radically new mediums of expression through collaborations with other artists and designers.
Once again, Berk is cleverly transforming ephemeral and ordinary objects into works of art that play on our collective experience.
You can support and learn more about the ITSABOB on their Kickstarter page.