This year at CHI 2011, Bill Buxton was invited to display his personal collection of gadgets. These include a wide variety of things, from toys like the Skedoodle and the Power Glove to Chord Keyboards and UMPC's. The collection represents 35 years of Bill looking at devices with his unique eye toward design and usability. Some of the objects seem oddly out of place, like a Swiss Army Knife or transistor radio, but as Bill explains, each one of these has lessons that user experience designers can learn from. Bill took time to walk Niners through some of these objects and talk about what they mean to him.
As I spent several hours browsing the exhibit before it opened, I saw dozens of people walk by and press their nose up against the glass, smiling and taking pictures with their phones. I was struck by how many of these objects touched our lives briefly, and how often we forget about the gadgets and gizmos that amazed us in a not-too-distant past. Best of all, the web team at MSR along with Bill have done a great job making a Pivot Collection that all of us can enjoy any time we like. You can browse the collection here.