Now let me define what magic I mean. I don't mean augury, telepathy, rain making, clairvoyance, necromancy, demonic possession or transmutation. I'm not talking Dungeons and Dragons, Magic the Gathering, the Bride with White Hair, or World of Warcraft. In fact, I don't mean the vast majority of magical concepts that exist in every culture.
I mean enchanted objects.
I've always considered my phone to be somewhat inert. It just sits there unless someone is trying to contact me. All that's changing, with a ton of objects and devices that are "aware"...
Normal objects typically do not do anything unless explicitly commanded to, but ubiquitous computing objects, smart objects, can have behaviors independent of immediate commands. That's unique in the history of people's relationship to nonliving things.
Like mood rings, or those terrible heat t-shirt things from the 90s, what other sorts of information could an object convey? Colour my keys or my phone based on the temperature, so I know to put on a coat? The mind boggles.
Mike's full presentation from Dorkbot (pdf).