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Beyond the Fat Wire

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Tangible Computing

One of the speakers for this talk is Matt Jones, who was a speaker at IA Summit in 2004 where he talked about things he did at BBCi.

Windows / computer screens -- you lose things. windows overlaop. task bars, app bars, blah blah blah.....

all of that has been an inferior metaphor for interacting with the world in a digital environment

especially --- you can't click a mouse while waiting at the bus stop

Mac app interface as a beautiful but unintuitive thing

Ubiqitous computing IS HERE NOW -- it's just not evenly distributed and the interaction is still a work in progress

As interface designers, we must play to our strengths -- we are situated in space, we are embodied, we have opposable thumbs, we can touch, our senses and our brains are not disconnected.

"Where the action is" by Paul Dourish ...

"Extelligence" -- cognitive economy, social legibility (if i see you doing it in the world, i can copy you)

"Use our intelligence wisely" -- glance-ability, important information is not only in a computer window, important information bubbles up, direct combination (I didn't understand their examples of direct combination)

"Tangible tiredness" -- interfaces are pushing us to our physical limits, we cannot detect constant small visual changes

What's out there now?
  • tablets
  • audiopad - jazz mutant
  • smart furniture: interactive tables, sensitive objects, smart carpets, DDR
  • all seeing eyes -- cameras are everywhere
  • digital pens, eyetoy, augmented reality
  • passive information display: internet toaster, ambient devices, natural displays
  • smart objects: haptics/force feedback, physical movement, 2D barcodes
  • NFC - Near Field Communications -- touch technology, tell technology to talk, read write show, 2 major design principles (put readers/writers everywhere -- e.g. covers of phones) real information stored in the (RF) tags, not in a database. works at a range of some centimeters

But what can we do? Tangible computing hacks
  • computers make it easy to take inputs and manipulate
  • but now, computers are everywhere
  • more inputs: knobs, microphones, OpenEEG
  • more outputs: Dotdotdot. Palm revival, Airport Express -- walk around the house and the music follows you
  • more programmability: standard protocols, software affordances, programmatic access to internals



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