Nissan’s Video About Objects and Furniture That Moves Makes Us Think About the Intersection of Magic and Science

There’s a line in the first Thor movie where the titular character suggests that what humans call “magic,” Asgardians call “science.” The notion being that both are unseen forces, and bridging the two requires advancing and applying knowledge.

We have a lot of technology today that would have seemed like magic to people from 100 years ago. Imagine driving around in a primitive automobile from 1918 and wanting to hear a particular song; you must wait until you get home, take your coat off, pull a vinyl record out of a sleeve, place it on a phonograph and guide the needle to its surface. Show those people footage of you driving around in 2018, calling out to Siri to play a particular song and it fills the car within a second.

But even as wondrous as instant music is, or wireless backups, or Bluetooth speakers, none of those things feel like magic to me. This does:

Sure it’s a little silly, and we’ve seen Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility initiative before with their self-organizing office chairs, but there is something magical about seeing inanimate objects tidy themselves.

I suspect that the reason this elicits a different response than Siri pulling music out of thin air is because this is more visual, physical and kinetic. I think that the combination of those three things will always yield more amazement than a voice-equipped refrigerator that announces you’re out of milk.