I went to visit Aaron and Seb at the Cooper Hewitt on Monday. Their pen is up and running and it's a thing of genius.
You get this pen thing when you buy your ticket - it's nice and hefty, feels good to carry around - it's linked to a URL on your ticket. As you go around the museum you touch it to the signs next to any objects you're interested in and it 'collects' them for you.
Then, when you've finished your visit, you check out by touching your pen on another sign and hand it back. And then when you get home, or as you walk out the door, you type in the URL from your ticket and there they all are. Dead simple. And because it's open and webby you can then do all the social collecting things you might want to do - pinterest etc.
I guess they could have automated that, got you logging in to all sorts of things to do that 'automagically', I bet that was suggested, but why would they? They've done the hard bit, the basics, you can do the rest yourself. And, if you want to know just how hard the hard bit is, Aaron's written about it.
This feels like a prototype for a lot of future behaviour. It's not just the practical stuff of it, the way you don't have to take notes, or photograph the things you want to remember. It's the way that it gives you something to do other than stand and stare. Not a typical museum 'interactive' thing, but an act that feels appropriate to the reason for your visit, an act of collection and discrimination. 'This' you're saying, 'I'm paying attention to this thing here'.
In fact, I went to MoMA before that, to visit their show This Is For Everyone, Design Experiments for the Common Good and see The Big Red Button. I took photos of interesting things there, things I wanted to remember, but already I'm not sure I can be bothered to look through my photostream to find them.
The Pen has considerably enhanced the 'post-experience design' of the Cooper Hewitt versus MoMA.