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Mixed Reality with Mobiles July 5, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in gadgets, innovative interfaces, mobile, physical interaction design, play, poetic.
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The Japan-based Mobile Art Lab developed a nice low-tech extension for mobile phones: a book:

(image source)

Here a short video of how the concept works:

I really like the project as it represents a flexibility of mobile devices beyond just the software – extended in the direction of hardware. The current sensor system of the iPhone does not really allow an elegant interaction through this book-extension: so when flipping the pages of the book, the user has also to flip the content on the iPhone.

Unfortunately Apple is really not offering an interesting and open hardware interface. I guess that with more USB-based interfaces between mobile phones and specialized hardware we will see more interesting innovative harware extension for mobile phones.

I gave this sensor problem a thought and then discovered a nice feature with my new Windows phone: when you talk to somebody and hold your phone to your ear the light of the display switches off. So, maybe it would be possible to have a little hole for this sensor in the book and each time the user flips a page the sensor can recognize the pattern of changes in light value and then also switches pages… Wow, what a great idea 🙂

This project reminds me of the project Bird Box by my friends Durell Bishop and Tom Hulbert from Luckybite:

(image source)

My friend Julia Leihener pointed the nice “phonebook” concept out to me. Thanks!

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Poetic Interaction Design July 5, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in making the invisible visible, physical interaction design, poetic.
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With my undergrad students I discussed the need of more poetic forms of Human-Computer-Interaction. Of course, light, non-permanent (in German: ‘flüchtig’) forms  for displaying data as through air flow always come to our minds. One example is the project Web Presence – Presence Web” (2009) by Michael Hohl:

“Visitors arriving at the website are indicated by the curtain billowing gently in a momentary breeze, just as a real visitor to the room would.”

This short video shows the prototype (actually, the concept itself is very poetic and beautiful, however the documentation is too nerdy for my taste…)