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Light Switches March 16, 2006

Posted by reto wettach in light, physical interaction design.
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light_switch.jpg

Prof. M. Rauterberg from the Technical University of Eindhoven has in his lecture “Interaction Design – Buttons” a nice comparison between a problematic light switch panel (right) and one possible solution (left). The problem is that there is no direct mapping between switches and corresponing lamps.

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Another solution to this problem has been proposed by Neil Gershenfeld from the MIT Media Lab: he is suggesting the “internet zero“, an internet of objects, for example in the Media House in Barcelona:

“Computers were embedded in lights and switches, giving them each an Internet address so that their relationships could be dynamically programmed rather than fixed by a wiring diagram. Each device contained the data and procedures for its control functions, allowing them to operate as a distributed system without relying on central servers. And physical programming interfaces were provided so that, for example, installing a light and then operating a switch could associate them over the network without requiring commands from another computer to configure them.”

The intersting aspect of this approach is that with a flexible system similar to the ERCO rails, one could take away a switch from a certain location and mount it somewhere else. Or have multiple switche controlling one or various lamps…

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