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Physical Interaction Design January 29, 2007

Posted by Melissa Quintanilha in physical interaction design.
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Physical Interaction Design involves the design of objects for sensing (usually humans) and displaying information (to all our senses). It involves making new devices with embedded sensors, electronics, microcontrollers and communication. The best way to do Physical Interaction Design is with rapid iteration of working prototypes.

Why “Physical Interaction Design”?

“Desktop computing” has for over 20 years relied on the same style of interaction, which is shaped by bit-map, keyboard and mouse.
“Laptop computing” offers only minor variations on the mouse (pad, stick, ball).
“Mobile computing” seems to be converging around the PDA (stylus) and mobile phones (buttons and small screen), but innovations are still happening (cameras).

Some conventions are well established (TV remote) but should be challenged. Some interaction styles have never been well coordinated (vending machines).

I am interested in creating new styles of interaction, which will depend on new controls and displays. “Ubiquitous computing” has not settled on standard devices or a common style of interaction. In fact, the idea of “embedded computing” is that we might use almost any thing that can become sensors and actuators (One that activates, especially a device responsible for actuating a mechanical device, such as one connected to a computer by a sensor link). Every interface can be unique; every object can be interactive.

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