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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!


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…)