I really really REALLY wish I had bought the URL to Techsploitation. But Annalee Newitz beat me to it. You win this time, Dr. Newitz. You may gotten the URL, but I know how do this… Techsploitation™ © 2013 Agderian
I think I use the word in a different way though. So, let’s just share it. To me, Techsploitation is what it sounds like. You take the function of a device and use it for something only kinda related to what it was intended for. All in an attempt to create an experience that it more emotional, memorable, or designed to create a unique tactile experience. Yeah, man. That sounds new and interesting doesn’t it? That’s the thing, it isn’t anything new. It’s necessary to evolving technology, although the argument could be made (if it hasn’t already. Dr Newitz, jump in at any point here) that it is fundamental in evolution in general.
It’s like this… My iPhone has a surface that acts as a touch screen. It also has two buttons and a toggle switch on the side. On the front? A camera. Which by definition is not a button, a touch screen, or a toggle switch. So, if you want to do anything with the front that doesn’t involve taking pictures of your drunk friends, you can fuck off. Or buy a Samsung. But, wait! Don’t do that. Let’s think about this for a second. What do a button and a camera have in common? They are both input devices, right? They both take information from outside the device and put it in the device, right? A button answers to the question, “Am I pressed?” by saying simply yes or no. The camera listens for the answer to the question, “Am I fat?” by saying “look for yourself, asshat.” The camera can answer a lot of questions including the simple yes no question of “Do I see light?” If you cover the lens with your finger, the answer is no. If not, the answer is yes. Congrats, your camera lens is now a button. Now go impress your friends.
Earlier, I made the ballsy statement that somehow this has to do with the idea of evolution. What I just did was create a new function out of an established system. Eventually, Apple would either make the camera more capable of answering the simpler question of yes and no, or it would just put a button on the front of the device. Or they will have me killed for questioning their design sense. Either way, change would come.
Techsploitation can be used in a number of ways like turning your webcam into a motion detection system, turning your microphone into a spirometer (the machine that tests lung capacity), or finding out how far you are from a friend by simply asking Facebook. Sometimes it may seem like a duh moment, where you think, “Well, of course you could do that with that.” Other times, people will think you are insane. Either way, the point of Techsploitation is to keep asking, “Is there another way?”