Meeting the Maker of littleBits due to Canceled Flights

I got up this morning before 4am… that is really early. Arriving at the airport I found out that the 5:40 flight was canceled. I should have checked the flight status before getting out of bed (or TAP/Lufthansa could have sent me a SMS). It was not a complete surprise as yesterday someone mentioned that due to the strong rain some flights did not arrive in Funchal.

I was rebooked on a later flight and met by chance Ayah Bdeir, who was at TEI and on the same flight to connect vi FRA. At the demo session I saw her product: littleBits (http://littlebits.cc) but did not talk to her.

littleBits is a set of different hardware modules that can be connected by small magnet. On the website it is described as

“littleBits is an opensource library of discrete electronic components pre-assembled in tiny circuit boards. Just as Legos allow you to create complex structures with very little engineering knowledge, littleBits are simple, intuitive, space-sensitive blocks that make prototyping with sophisticated electronics a matter of snapping small magnets together.”

The approach is very interesting and shows one trend that is currently ongoing in the TEI community: enabling a wider set of people to create functional interactive products by lowering the barrier and effort for prototyping systems that consist of physical components, electronics, and software. The target audience ranges from designers to artists, but also includes the education domain. A point that makes littleBits interesting is that they will be open source. They are not yet available, but one can subscribe for further information on the website: http://littlebits.cc there are also some cool videos…

At TEI it was great to see so many toolkits and platforms appearing. When we did our first open source hardware/software platform in 2002 with Smart-Its we followed a DIY-approach for building the hardware (having a step by step photo tutorial to building the modules) and having a lot of options for programming it. Additionally each module had wireless included. At the time we consider this a good idea – we thought it will empower the developers. Looking back this limited the number of people that would be able use it – but allowed the one’s how made the effort to do very forward looking prototypes. We summarized some of the experience in [1]. The current research and products seen at TEI focus much stronger on making it easy for a large set of people to use it – it will be exciting to see if and how this speeds up the creation of new products in the next years.

[1] Gellersen, H., Kortuem, G., Schmidt, A., and Beigl, M. 2004. Physical Prototyping with Smart-Its. IEEE Pervasive Computing 3, 3 (Jul. 2004), 74-82. DOI= http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MPRV.2004.1321032

Meeting the Maker of littleBits due to Canceled Flights

I got up this morning before 4am… that is really early. Arriving at the airport I found out that the 5:40 flight was canceled. I should have checked the flight status before getting out of bed (or TAP/Lufthansa could have sent me a SMS). It was not a complete surprise as yesterday someone mentioned that due to the strong rain some flights did not arrive in Funchal.

I was rebooked on a later flight and met by chance Ayah Bdeir, who was at TEI and on the same flight to connect vi FRA. At the demo session I saw her product: littleBits (http://littlebits.cc) but did not talk to her.

littleBits is a set of different hardware modules that can be connected by small magnet. On the website it is described as

“littleBits is an opensource library of discrete electronic components pre-assembled in tiny circuit boards. Just as Legos allow you to create complex structures with very little engineering knowledge, littleBits are simple, intuitive, space-sensitive blocks that make prototyping with sophisticated electronics a matter of snapping small magnets together.”

The approach is very interesting and shows one trend that is currently ongoing in the TEI community: enabling a wider set of people to create functional interactive products by lowering the barrier and effort for prototyping systems that consist of physical components, electronics, and software. The target audience ranges from designers to artists, but also includes the education domain. A point that makes littleBits interesting is that they will be open source. They are not yet available, but one can subscribe for further information on the website: http://littlebits.cc there are also some cool videos…

At TEI it was great to see so many toolkits and platforms appearing. When we did our first open source hardware/software platform in 2002 with Smart-Its we followed a DIY-approach for building the hardware (having a step by step photo tutorial to building the modules) and having a lot of options for programming it. Additionally each module had wireless included. At the time we consider this a good idea – we thought it will empower the developers. Looking back this limited the number of people that would be able use it – but allowed the one’s how made the effort to do very forward looking prototypes. We summarized some of the experience in [1]. The current research and products seen at TEI focus much stronger on making it easy for a large set of people to use it – it will be exciting to see if and how this speeds up the creation of new products in the next years.

[1] Gellersen, H., Kortuem, G., Schmidt, A., and Beigl, M. 2004. Physical Prototyping with Smart-Its. IEEE Pervasive Computing 3, 3 (Jul. 2004), 74-82. DOI= http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MPRV.2004.1321032

>Meeting the Maker of littleBits due to Canceled Flights

>I got up this morning before 4am… that is really early. Arriving at the airport I found out that the 5:40 flight was canceled. I should have checked the flight status before getting out of bed (or TAP/Lufthansa could have sent me a SMS). It was not a complete surprise as yesterday someone mentioned that due to the strong rain some flights did not arrive in Funchal.

I was rebooked on a later flight and met by chance Ayah Bdeir, who was at TEI and on the same flight to connect vi FRA. At the demo session I saw her product: littleBits (http://littlebits.cc) but did not talk to her.

littleBits is a set of different hardware modules that can be connected by small magnet. On the website it is described as

“littleBits is an opensource library of discrete electronic components pre-assembled in tiny circuit boards. Just as Legos allow you to create complex structures with very little engineering knowledge, littleBits are simple, intuitive, space-sensitive blocks that make prototyping with sophisticated electronics a matter of snapping small magnets together.”

The approach is very interesting and shows one trend that is currently ongoing in the TEI community: enabling a wider set of people to create functional interactive products by lowering the barrier and effort for prototyping systems that consist of physical components, electronics, and software. The target audience ranges from designers to artists, but also includes the education domain. A point that makes littleBits interesting is that they will be open source. They are not yet available, but one can subscribe for further information on the website: http://littlebits.cc there are also some cool videos…

At TEI it was great to see so many toolkits and platforms appearing. When we did our first open source hardware/software platform in 2002 with Smart-Its we followed a DIY-approach for building the hardware (having a step by step photo tutorial to building the modules) and having a lot of options for programming it. Additionally each module had wireless included. At the time we consider this a good idea – we thought it will empower the developers. Looking back this limited the number of people that would be able use it – but allowed the one’s how made the effort to do very forward looking prototypes. We summarized some of the experience in [1]. The current research and products seen at TEI focus much stronger on making it easy for a large set of people to use it – it will be exciting to see if and how this speeds up the creation of new products in the next years.

[1] Gellersen, H., Kortuem, G., Schmidt, A., and Beigl, M. 2004. Physical Prototyping with Smart-Its. IEEE Pervasive Computing 3, 3 (Jul. 2004), 74-82. DOI= http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MPRV.2004.1321032

>TEI2011 Keynote: Bounce Back by Gilian Crampton Smith

>Gilian Crampton Smith is one of the people that massively influenced the field of interaction design from the very beginning. She is currently working in Venice: www.interaction-venice.com. Nearly 20 years back in London Durrell Bishop was one of her students. She pointed out that the central insight of the early work was “We know how to control objects by physical means”. This insight has since become a basic motivation for tangible interfaces and embodied interaction. Closely linked to this is the complexity of interaction. To me one great point with designing tangible user interfaces is that you are forced to come up with a simple solution. Overall the argument was that embodied interaction works because it draws on knowledge we have. An example is that two physical things cannot be in exactly the same place and another one is that things stay where they are if there is no force moving them. There are clear limitations to the interaction with physical objects that give indications how to use it; she referenced a paper on an exploration of physical manipulation [1].

As one example Gilian showed the marble answering machine concept video from 1992. To me this video is a great example that shows the power of a concept video. Using a simple animation in this concept video enables viewers to understand the idea and interactions very quickly. I like the simplicity and clarity of this video – it would be very useful for teaching. Hopefully it will made publicly available; see below the bad-quality copy I took with my mobile. A good quality version ist at http://vimeo.com/19930744

One interesting point was a reflection on the shortcomings of the traditional view of interaction being based on input and output. Gilian argued that output should be separated in feedback and results. Input is categorized in according the interaction required, such as simple (e.g. text, minimal movement), medium (e.g. GUI), maximum (e.g. musical instrument, movement of the whole body). The feedback is related to the sense human have, and includes modalities such as visual, auditory, tangible, kinesthetic, proprioception. Results are related to feedback but are oriented on the outcome. Results may be visual (e.g. symbolic, words, icon, films); auditory (e.g. sounds, words or music) or physical such as touch (e.g. massage machine) or movement.

Gilian went on to the question: “Why aren’t tangible, embedded and embodied interfaces out there in our everyday world?” For me the most important answer she gave is that it is hard to do them. It is very difficult to created sensor based interaction in a way that users understand it and that it feels natural to use. Counter examples where people got it wrong are those many lights that go on when you are already half way up the stairs or the automatic doors where people wave their hands in order to open them. As much of the interaction technology in such systems is not visible people have a hard time figuring out how things work. Based on their (incomplete) experience base on a few interactions they will create their mental modal … which is often wrong and potentially leads to frustration. A further point she made is that creating physical interactive objects and things is difficult and involves a lot of different skills. In combination with the function it is difficult to get the aesthetics right. One very good example is how hard it is to the aesthetics of feel is right, as it includes a well balanced design taking into account touch, weight, balance, movement, and sound. Overall this requires a great passion for detail to get the quality of engineering right; Gilians examples for this was the AUDI advert where an Engineer opens and closes the car door and listens carefully. I think I have seen in 8 years back in the UK as part of the ad-campain “Vorsprung durch Technik”. If anyone has a link to a copy please post it.

When I was in 2002 (or around this time) visiting her at Ivrea near Torino I was very much impressed by the creativity and inventiveness. In her talk she explained one approach to teaching I really like. The students get a device (e.g. an alarm clock, answering machine) without manual with the task to figure out how it works. While exploring the functionality they film themselves. Based on this they reflect on the design and then go on to do a completely new design for a device with a similar functionality (with the constraint that it cannot have buttons).

I like a reference to something Bruce Steering wrote. In short it basically says research is like crime; you need Means, Motivation and Opportunity.

Some further example she showed:

  • A communication device based candle: ceramic liaison. It is a bi-directional 1-bit communication device, that is esthetically pleasing. The state of the candle (real wax with fire) on either side is reflected by lighting up some ceramics on the other side.
  • A full body experience interaction device for controlling games: Collawobble. Using two bouncing balls a packman game can be controlled. One user controls with the bouncing X and the other Y.

update:
Ellen Do posted 2 clips that were shown in the keynote

and suggested a further one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS6pwQqSY70

the marble answering machine video on http://vimeo.com/19930744

[1] Andrew Manches, Claire O’Malley, and Steve Benford. 2009. Physical manipulation: evaluating the potential for tangible designs. In Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction (TEI ’09). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 77-84. DOI=10.1145/1517664.1517688 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1517664.1517688

TEI2011 Keynote: Bounce Back by Gilian Crampton Smith

Gilian Crampton Smith is one of the people that massively influenced the field of interaction design from the very beginning. She is currently working in Venice: www.interaction-venice.com. Nearly 20 years back in London Durrell Bishop was one of her students. She pointed out that the central insight of the early work was “We know how to control objects by physical means”. This insight has since become a basic motivation for tangible interfaces and embodied interaction. Closely linked to this is the complexity of interaction. To me one great point with designing tangible user interfaces is that you are forced to come up with a simple solution. Overall the argument was that embodied interaction works because it draws on knowledge we have. An example is that two physical things cannot be in exactly the same place and another one is that things stay where they are if there is no force moving them. There are clear limitations to the interaction with physical objects that give indications how to use it; she referenced a paper on an exploration of physical manipulation [1].

As one example Gilian showed the marble answering machine concept video from 1992. To me this video is a great example that shows the power of a concept video. Using a simple animation in this concept video enables viewers to understand the idea and interactions very quickly. I like the simplicity and clarity of this video – it would be very useful for teaching. Hopefully it will made publicly available; see below the bad-quality copy I took with my mobile. A good quality version ist at http://vimeo.com/19930744

One interesting point was a reflection on the shortcomings of the traditional view of interaction being based on input and output. Gilian argued that output should be separated in feedback and results. Input is categorized in according the interaction required, such as simple (e.g. text, minimal movement), medium (e.g. GUI), maximum (e.g. musical instrument, movement of the whole body). The feedback is related to the sense human have, and includes modalities such as visual, auditory, tangible, kinesthetic, proprioception. Results are related to feedback but are oriented on the outcome. Results may be visual (e.g. symbolic, words, icon, films); auditory (e.g. sounds, words or music) or physical such as touch (e.g. massage machine) or movement.

Gilian went on to the question: “Why aren’t tangible, embedded and embodied interfaces out there in our everyday world?” For me the most important answer she gave is that it is hard to do them. It is very difficult to created sensor based interaction in a way that users understand it and that it feels natural to use. Counter examples where people got it wrong are those many lights that go on when you are already half way up the stairs or the automatic doors where people wave their hands in order to open them. As much of the interaction technology in such systems is not visible people have a hard time figuring out how things work. Based on their (incomplete) experience base on a few interactions they will create their mental modal … which is often wrong and potentially leads to frustration. A further point she made is that creating physical interactive objects and things is difficult and involves a lot of different skills. In combination with the function it is difficult to get the aesthetics right. One very good example is how hard it is to the aesthetics of feel is right, as it includes a well balanced design taking into account touch, weight, balance, movement, and sound. Overall this requires a great passion for detail to get the quality of engineering right; Gilians examples for this was the AUDI advert where an Engineer opens and closes the car door and listens carefully. I think I have seen in 8 years back in the UK as part of the ad-campain “Vorsprung durch Technik”. If anyone has a link to a copy please post it.

When I was in 2002 (or around this time) visiting her at Ivrea near Torino I was very much impressed by the creativity and inventiveness. In her talk she explained one approach to teaching I really like. The students get a device (e.g. an alarm clock, answering machine) without manual with the task to figure out how it works. While exploring the functionality they film themselves. Based on this they reflect on the design and then go on to do a completely new design for a device with a similar functionality (with the constraint that it cannot have buttons).

I like a reference to something Bruce Steering wrote. In short it basically says research is like crime; you need Means, Motivation and Opportunity.

Some further example she showed:

  • A communication device based candle: ceramic liaison. It is a bi-directional 1-bit communication device, that is esthetically pleasing. The state of the candle (real wax with fire) on either side is reflected by lighting up some ceramics on the other side.
  • A full body experience interaction device for controlling games: Collawobble. Using two bouncing balls a packman game can be controlled. One user controls with the bouncing X and the other Y.

update:
Ellen Do posted 2 clips that were shown in the keynote

and suggested a further one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS6pwQqSY70

the marble answering machine video on http://vimeo.com/19930744

[1] Andrew Manches, Claire O’Malley, and Steve Benford. 2009. Physical manipulation: evaluating the potential for tangible designs. In Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction (TEI ’09). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 77-84. DOI=10.1145/1517664.1517688 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1517664.1517688

TEI2011 Keynote: Bounce Back by Gilian Crampton Smith

Gilian Crampton Smith is one of the people that massively influenced the field of interaction design from the very beginning. She is currently working in Venice: www.interaction-venice.com. Nearly 20 years back in London Durrell Bishop was one of her students. She pointed out that the central insight of the early work was “We know how to control objects by physical means”. This insight has since become a basic motivation for tangible interfaces and embodied interaction. Closely linked to this is the complexity of interaction. To me one great point with designing tangible user interfaces is that you are forced to come up with a simple solution. Overall the argument was that embodied interaction works because it draws on knowledge we have. An example is that two physical things cannot be in exactly the same place and another one is that things stay where they are if there is no force moving them. There are clear limitations to the interaction with physical objects that give indications how to use it; she referenced a paper on an exploration of physical manipulation [1].

As one example Gilian showed the marble answering machine concept video from 1992. To me this video is a great example that shows the power of a concept video. Using a simple animation in this concept video enables viewers to understand the idea and interactions very quickly. I like the simplicity and clarity of this video – it would be very useful for teaching. Hopefully it will made publicly available; see below the bad-quality copy I took with my mobile. A good quality version ist at http://vimeo.com/19930744

One interesting point was a reflection on the shortcomings of the traditional view of interaction being based on input and output. Gilian argued that output should be separated in feedback and results. Input is categorized in according the interaction required, such as simple (e.g. text, minimal movement), medium (e.g. GUI), maximum (e.g. musical instrument, movement of the whole body). The feedback is related to the sense human have, and includes modalities such as visual, auditory, tangible, kinesthetic, proprioception. Results are related to feedback but are oriented on the outcome. Results may be visual (e.g. symbolic, words, icon, films); auditory (e.g. sounds, words or music) or physical such as touch (e.g. massage machine) or movement.

Gilian went on to the question: “Why aren’t tangible, embedded and embodied interfaces out there in our everyday world?” For me the most important answer she gave is that it is hard to do them. It is very difficult to created sensor based interaction in a way that users understand it and that it feels natural to use. Counter examples where people got it wrong are those many lights that go on when you are already half way up the stairs or the automatic doors where people wave their hands in order to open them. As much of the interaction technology in such systems is not visible people have a hard time figuring out how things work. Based on their (incomplete) experience base on a few interactions they will create their mental modal … which is often wrong and potentially leads to frustration. A further point she made is that creating physical interactive objects and things is difficult and involves a lot of different skills. In combination with the function it is difficult to get the aesthetics right. One very good example is how hard it is to the aesthetics of feel is right, as it includes a well balanced design taking into account touch, weight, balance, movement, and sound. Overall this requires a great passion for detail to get the quality of engineering right; Gilians examples for this was the AUDI advert where an Engineer opens and closes the car door and listens carefully. I think I have seen in 8 years back in the UK as part of the ad-campain “Vorsprung durch Technik”. If anyone has a link to a copy please post it.

When I was in 2002 (or around this time) visiting her at Ivrea near Torino I was very much impressed by the creativity and inventiveness. In her talk she explained one approach to teaching I really like. The students get a device (e.g. an alarm clock, answering machine) without manual with the task to figure out how it works. While exploring the functionality they film themselves. Based on this they reflect on the design and then go on to do a completely new design for a device with a similar functionality (with the constraint that it cannot have buttons).

I like a reference to something Bruce Steering wrote. In short it basically says research is like crime; you need Means, Motivation and Opportunity.

Some further example she showed:

  • A communication device based candle: ceramic liaison. It is a bi-directional 1-bit communication device, that is esthetically pleasing. The state of the candle (real wax with fire) on either side is reflected by lighting up some ceramics on the other side.
  • A full body experience interaction device for controlling games: Collawobble. Using two bouncing balls a packman game can be controlled. One user controls with the bouncing X and the other Y.

update:
Ellen Do posted 2 clips that were shown in the keynote

and suggested a further one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS6pwQqSY70

the marble answering machine video on http://vimeo.com/19930744

[1] Andrew Manches, Claire O’Malley, and Steve Benford. 2009. Physical manipulation: evaluating the potential for tangible designs. In Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction (TEI ’09). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 77-84. DOI=10.1145/1517664.1517688 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1517664.1517688

TEI2011 Keynote: Bounce Back by Gilian Crampton Smith

Gilian Crampton Smith is one of the people that massively influenced the field of interaction design from the very beginning. She is currently working in Venice: www.interaction-venice.com. Nearly 20 years back in London Durrell Bishop was one of her students. She pointed out that the central insight of the early work was “We know how to control objects by physical means”. This insight has since become a basic motivation for tangible interfaces and embodied interaction. Closely linked to this is the complexity of interaction. To me one great point with designing tangible user interfaces is that you are forced to come up with a simple solution. Overall the argument was that embodied interaction works because it draws on knowledge we have. An example is that two physical things cannot be in exactly the same place and another one is that things stay where they are if there is no force moving them. There are clear limitations to the interaction with physical objects that give indications how to use it; she referenced a paper on an exploration of physical manipulation [1].

As one example Gilian showed the marble answering machine concept video from 1992. To me this video is a great example that shows the power of a concept video. Using a simple animation in this concept video enables viewers to understand the idea and interactions very quickly. I like the simplicity and clarity of this video – it would be very useful for teaching. Hopefully it will made publicly available; see below the bad-quality copy I took with my mobile. A good quality version ist at http://vimeo.com/19930744

One interesting point was a reflection on the shortcomings of the traditional view of interaction being based on input and output. Gilian argued that output should be separated in feedback and results. Input is categorized in according the interaction required, such as simple (e.g. text, minimal movement), medium (e.g. GUI), maximum (e.g. musical instrument, movement of the whole body). The feedback is related to the sense human have, and includes modalities such as visual, auditory, tangible, kinesthetic, proprioception. Results are related to feedback but are oriented on the outcome. Results may be visual (e.g. symbolic, words, icon, films); auditory (e.g. sounds, words or music) or physical such as touch (e.g. massage machine) or movement.

Gilian went on to the question: “Why aren’t tangible, embedded and embodied interfaces out there in our everyday world?” For me the most important answer she gave is that it is hard to do them. It is very difficult to created sensor based interaction in a way that users understand it and that it feels natural to use. Counter examples where people got it wrong are those many lights that go on when you are already half way up the stairs or the automatic doors where people wave their hands in order to open them. As much of the interaction technology in such systems is not visible people have a hard time figuring out how things work. Based on their (incomplete) experience base on a few interactions they will create their mental modal … which is often wrong and potentially leads to frustration. A further point she made is that creating physical interactive objects and things is difficult and involves a lot of different skills. In combination with the function it is difficult to get the aesthetics right. One very good example is how hard it is to the aesthetics of feel is right, as it includes a well balanced design taking into account touch, weight, balance, movement, and sound. Overall this requires a great passion for detail to get the quality of engineering right; Gilians examples for this was the AUDI advert where an Engineer opens and closes the car door and listens carefully. I think I have seen in 8 years back in the UK as part of the ad-campain “Vorsprung durch Technik”. If anyone has a link to a copy please post it.

When I was in 2002 (or around this time) visiting her at Ivrea near Torino I was very much impressed by the creativity and inventiveness. In her talk she explained one approach to teaching I really like. The students get a device (e.g. an alarm clock, answering machine) without manual with the task to figure out how it works. While exploring the functionality they film themselves. Based on this they reflect on the design and then go on to do a completely new design for a device with a similar functionality (with the constraint that it cannot have buttons).

I like a reference to something Bruce Steering wrote. In short it basically says research is like crime; you need Means, Motivation and Opportunity.

Some further example she showed:

  • A communication device based candle: ceramic liaison. It is a bi-directional 1-bit communication device, that is esthetically pleasing. The state of the candle (real wax with fire) on either side is reflected by lighting up some ceramics on the other side.
  • A full body experience interaction device for controlling games: Collawobble. Using two bouncing balls a packman game can be controlled. One user controls with the bouncing X and the other Y.

update:
Ellen Do posted 2 clips that were shown in the keynote

and suggested a further one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS6pwQqSY70

the marble answering machine video on http://vimeo.com/19930744

[1] Andrew Manches, Claire O’Malley, and Steve Benford. 2009. Physical manipulation: evaluating the potential for tangible designs. In Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction (TEI ’09). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 77-84. DOI=10.1145/1517664.1517688 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1517664.1517688

>TEI2011 Keynote: Bounce Back by Gilian Crampton Smith

>Gilian Crampton Smith is one of the people that massively influenced the field of interaction design from the very beginning. She is currently working in Venice: www.interaction-venice.com. Nearly 20 years back in London Durrell Bishop was one of her students. She pointed out that the central insight of the early work was “We know how to control objects by physical means”. This insight has since become a basic motivation for tangible interfaces and embodied interaction. Closely linked to this is the complexity of interaction. To me one great point with designing tangible user interfaces is that you are forced to come up with a simple solution. Overall the argument was that embodied interaction works because it draws on knowledge we have. An example is that two physical things cannot be in exactly the same place and another one is that things stay where they are if there is no force moving them. There are clear limitations to the interaction with physical objects that give indications how to use it; she referenced a paper on an exploration of physical manipulation [1].

As one example Gilian showed the marble answering machine concept video from 1992. To me this video is a great example that shows the power of a concept video. Using a simple animation in this concept video enables viewers to understand the idea and interactions very quickly. I like the simplicity and clarity of this video – it would be very useful for teaching. Hopefully it will made publicly available; see below the bad-quality copy I took with my mobile. A good quality version ist at http://vimeo.com/19930744

One interesting point was a reflection on the shortcomings of the traditional view of interaction being based on input and output. Gilian argued that output should be separated in feedback and results. Input is categorized in according the interaction required, such as simple (e.g. text, minimal movement), medium (e.g. GUI), maximum (e.g. musical instrument, movement of the whole body). The feedback is related to the sense human have, and includes modalities such as visual, auditory, tangible, kinesthetic, proprioception. Results are related to feedback but are oriented on the outcome. Results may be visual (e.g. symbolic, words, icon, films); auditory (e.g. sounds, words or music) or physical such as touch (e.g. massage machine) or movement.

Gilian went on to the question: “Why aren’t tangible, embedded and embodied interfaces out there in our everyday world?” For me the most important answer she gave is that it is hard to do them. It is very difficult to created sensor based interaction in a way that users understand it and that it feels natural to use. Counter examples where people got it wrong are those many lights that go on when you are already half way up the stairs or the automatic doors where people wave their hands in order to open them. As much of the interaction technology in such systems is not visible people have a hard time figuring out how things work. Based on their (incomplete) experience base on a few interactions they will create their mental modal … which is often wrong and potentially leads to frustration. A further point she made is that creating physical interactive objects and things is difficult and involves a lot of different skills. In combination with the function it is difficult to get the aesthetics right. One very good example is how hard it is to the aesthetics of feel is right, as it includes a well balanced design taking into account touch, weight, balance, movement, and sound. Overall this requires a great passion for detail to get the quality of engineering right; Gilians examples for this was the AUDI advert where an Engineer opens and closes the car door and listens carefully. I think I have seen in 8 years back in the UK as part of the ad-campain “Vorsprung durch Technik”. If anyone has a link to a copy please post it.

When I was in 2002 (or around this time) visiting her at Ivrea near Torino I was very much impressed by the creativity and inventiveness. In her talk she explained one approach to teaching I really like. The students get a device (e.g. an alarm clock, answering machine) without manual with the task to figure out how it works. While exploring the functionality they film themselves. Based on this they reflect on the design and then go on to do a completely new design for a device with a similar functionality (with the constraint that it cannot have buttons).

I like a reference to something Bruce Steering wrote. In short it basically says research is like crime; you need Means, Motivation and Opportunity.

Some further example she showed:

  • A communication device based candle: ceramic liaison. It is a bi-directional 1-bit communication device, that is esthetically pleasing. The state of the candle (real wax with fire) on either side is reflected by lighting up some ceramics on the other side.
  • A full body experience interaction device for controlling games: Collawobble. Using two bouncing balls a packman game can be controlled. One user controls with the bouncing X and the other Y.

update:
Ellen Do posted 2 clips that were shown in the keynote

and suggested a further one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS6pwQqSY70

the marble answering machine video on http://vimeo.com/19930744

[1] Andrew Manches, Claire O’Malley, and Steve Benford. 2009. Physical manipulation: evaluating the potential for tangible designs. In Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction (TEI ’09). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 77-84. DOI=10.1145/1517664.1517688 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1517664.1517688

TEI2011 Keynote: Bounce Back by Gilian Crampton Smith

Gilian Crampton Smith is one of the people that massively influenced the field of interaction design from the very beginning. She is currently working in Venice: www.interaction-venice.com. Nearly 20 years back in London Durrell Bishop was one of her students. She pointed out that the central insight of the early work was “We know how to control objects by physical means”. This insight has since become a basic motivation for tangible interfaces and embodied interaction. Closely linked to this is the complexity of interaction. To me one great point with designing tangible user interfaces is that you are forced to come up with a simple solution. Overall the argument was that embodied interaction works because it draws on knowledge we have. An example is that two physical things cannot be in exactly the same place and another one is that things stay where they are if there is no force moving them. There are clear limitations to the interaction with physical objects that give indications how to use it; she referenced a paper on an exploration of physical manipulation [1].

As one example Gilian showed the marble answering machine concept video from 1992. To me this video is a great example that shows the power of a concept video. Using a simple animation in this concept video enables viewers to understand the idea and interactions very quickly. I like the simplicity and clarity of this video – it would be very useful for teaching. Hopefully it will made publicly available; see below the bad-quality copy I took with my mobile. A good quality version ist at http://vimeo.com/19930744

One interesting point was a reflection on the shortcomings of the traditional view of interaction being based on input and output. Gilian argued that output should be separated in feedback and results. Input is categorized in according the interaction required, such as simple (e.g. text, minimal movement), medium (e.g. GUI), maximum (e.g. musical instrument, movement of the whole body). The feedback is related to the sense human have, and includes modalities such as visual, auditory, tangible, kinesthetic, proprioception. Results are related to feedback but are oriented on the outcome. Results may be visual (e.g. symbolic, words, icon, films); auditory (e.g. sounds, words or music) or physical such as touch (e.g. massage machine) or movement.

Gilian went on to the question: “Why aren’t tangible, embedded and embodied interfaces out there in our everyday world?” For me the most important answer she gave is that it is hard to do them. It is very difficult to created sensor based interaction in a way that users understand it and that it feels natural to use. Counter examples where people got it wrong are those many lights that go on when you are already half way up the stairs or the automatic doors where people wave their hands in order to open them. As much of the interaction technology in such systems is not visible people have a hard time figuring out how things work. Based on their (incomplete) experience base on a few interactions they will create their mental modal … which is often wrong and potentially leads to frustration. A further point she made is that creating physical interactive objects and things is difficult and involves a lot of different skills. In combination with the function it is difficult to get the aesthetics right. One very good example is how hard it is to the aesthetics of feel is right, as it includes a well balanced design taking into account touch, weight, balance, movement, and sound. Overall this requires a great passion for detail to get the quality of engineering right; Gilians examples for this was the AUDI advert where an Engineer opens and closes the car door and listens carefully. I think I have seen in 8 years back in the UK as part of the ad-campain “Vorsprung durch Technik”. If anyone has a link to a copy please post it.

When I was in 2002 (or around this time) visiting her at Ivrea near Torino I was very much impressed by the creativity and inventiveness. In her talk she explained one approach to teaching I really like. The students get a device (e.g. an alarm clock, answering machine) without manual with the task to figure out how it works. While exploring the functionality they film themselves. Based on this they reflect on the design and then go on to do a completely new design for a device with a similar functionality (with the constraint that it cannot have buttons).

I like a reference to something Bruce Steering wrote. In short it basically says research is like crime; you need Means, Motivation and Opportunity.

Some further example she showed:

  • A communication device based candle: ceramic liaison. It is a bi-directional 1-bit communication device, that is esthetically pleasing. The state of the candle (real wax with fire) on either side is reflected by lighting up some ceramics on the other side.
  • A full body experience interaction device for controlling games: Collawobble. Using two bouncing balls a packman game can be controlled. One user controls with the bouncing X and the other Y.

update:
Ellen Do posted 2 clips that were shown in the keynote

and suggested a further one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS6pwQqSY70

the marble answering machine video on http://vimeo.com/19930744

[1] Andrew Manches, Claire O’Malley, and Steve Benford. 2009. Physical manipulation: evaluating the potential for tangible designs. In Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction (TEI ’09). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 77-84. DOI=10.1145/1517664.1517688 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1517664.1517688

>TEI2011 Keynote: Bounce Back by Gilian Crampton Smith

>Gilian Crampton Smith is one of the people that massively influenced the field of interaction design from the very beginning. She is currently working in Venice: www.interaction-venice.com. Nearly 20 years back in London Durrell Bishop was one of her students. She pointed out that the central insight of the early work was “We know how to control objects by physical means”. This insight has since become a basic motivation for tangible interfaces and embodied interaction. Closely linked to this is the complexity of interaction. To me one great point with designing tangible user interfaces is that you are forced to come up with a simple solution. Overall the argument was that embodied interaction works because it draws on knowledge we have. An example is that two physical things cannot be in exactly the same place and another one is that things stay where they are if there is no force moving them. There are clear limitations to the interaction with physical objects that give indications how to use it; she referenced a paper on an exploration of physical manipulation [1].

As one example Gilian showed the marble answering machine concept video from 1992. To me this video is a great example that shows the power of a concept video. Using a simple animation in this concept video enables viewers to understand the idea and interactions very quickly. I like the simplicity and clarity of this video – it would be very useful for teaching. Hopefully it will made publicly available; see below the bad-quality copy I took with my mobile. A good quality version ist at http://vimeo.com/19930744

One interesting point was a reflection on the shortcomings of the traditional view of interaction being based on input and output. Gilian argued that output should be separated in feedback and results. Input is categorized in according the interaction required, such as simple (e.g. text, minimal movement), medium (e.g. GUI), maximum (e.g. musical instrument, movement of the whole body). The feedback is related to the sense human have, and includes modalities such as visual, auditory, tangible, kinesthetic, proprioception. Results are related to feedback but are oriented on the outcome. Results may be visual (e.g. symbolic, words, icon, films); auditory (e.g. sounds, words or music) or physical such as touch (e.g. massage machine) or movement.

Gilian went on to the question: “Why aren’t tangible, embedded and embodied interfaces out there in our everyday world?” For me the most important answer she gave is that it is hard to do them. It is very difficult to created sensor based interaction in a way that users understand it and that it feels natural to use. Counter examples where people got it wrong are those many lights that go on when you are already half way up the stairs or the automatic doors where people wave their hands in order to open them. As much of the interaction technology in such systems is not visible people have a hard time figuring out how things work. Based on their (incomplete) experience base on a few interactions they will create their mental modal … which is often wrong and potentially leads to frustration. A further point she made is that creating physical interactive objects and things is difficult and involves a lot of different skills. In combination with the function it is difficult to get the aesthetics right. One very good example is how hard it is to the aesthetics of feel is right, as it includes a well balanced design taking into account touch, weight, balance, movement, and sound. Overall this requires a great passion for detail to get the quality of engineering right; Gilians examples for this was the AUDI advert where an Engineer opens and closes the car door and listens carefully. I think I have seen in 8 years back in the UK as part of the ad-campain “Vorsprung durch Technik”. If anyone has a link to a copy please post it.

When I was in 2002 (or around this time) visiting her at Ivrea near Torino I was very much impressed by the creativity and inventiveness. In her talk she explained one approach to teaching I really like. The students get a device (e.g. an alarm clock, answering machine) without manual with the task to figure out how it works. While exploring the functionality they film themselves. Based on this they reflect on the design and then go on to do a completely new design for a device with a similar functionality (with the constraint that it cannot have buttons).

I like a reference to something Bruce Steering wrote. In short it basically says research is like crime; you need Means, Motivation and Opportunity.

Some further example she showed:

  • A communication device based candle: ceramic liaison. It is a bi-directional 1-bit communication device, that is esthetically pleasing. The state of the candle (real wax with fire) on either side is reflected by lighting up some ceramics on the other side.
  • A full body experience interaction device for controlling games: Collawobble. Using two bouncing balls a packman game can be controlled. One user controls with the bouncing X and the other Y.

update:
Ellen Do posted 2 clips that were shown in the keynote

and suggested a further one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS6pwQqSY70

the marble answering machine video on http://vimeo.com/19930744

[1] Andrew Manches, Claire O’Malley, and Steve Benford. 2009. Physical manipulation: evaluating the potential for tangible designs. In Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction (TEI ’09). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 77-84. DOI=10.1145/1517664.1517688 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1517664.1517688