We were handed a compendium on monday, covering a broad range of tangible interaction issues, compiled by the tutors. This is meant to be a primer for our research into this field. Below are the five research areas presented in the compendium. I try to write down terms and issues that i want to discuss later on.
History and background:
From Nicola Tesla to Mark Weiser there is a shared optimism of what technology, used in the right way, can bring the future. Concerns about how the footprint of new development can be reduced is discussed by John Tackara in the book "In the Bubble". Realizing the future requiers a holistic approach to design.
The vision is to move computation to a new level, into the culture and social aspects of our lives (away from technology). The role of the designer is to take computers out of their cradle and release them into the real world.
It is argued that current research is stuck in the past visions of the future, especially Weiser's from 1991. Look out of the lab window and observe current reality (with its messy and heterogenous infrastructure). If one idea is worshipped it is important to balance that with critique of the same idea to keep an open mind for the future. People will expect the future to become what they are told it will be, by Sci-fi authors, by previous research and other influential sources. When we design, we design for a vision of the future, and that vision has to be uptaded, reviewed and kept close, else that future will be outdated and not especially futuristic.
Vocabulary - Is there a common denominator here? ( I think the term "Use Qualities" named by Löwgren and Stolterman is appropriate)
Tangible and embodied computing:
Why do we need physical interfaces? Physical interfaces are intuitive for spesific purposes. But is it too spesific? When the computer was introduced it removed the need for a lot of physical tools and space. That made it very efficient compared to older methods. But it also removed the intrinsic understanding of how several tools worked, it added a layer of abstraction between user and tool. Tangible user interfaces tries to revoke some of that inherent usability in physical manipulation of tools and also combine it with the dynamics of realtime data manipulation. The examples that have emerged so far is very spesific in their use and wold require intimate knowledge of the systems to make new programs for them. That is how the earliest computers worked. So we are probably just seeing the start of this field of research.
Products and Services:
The value of products and services are an intersting area of discussion. Are fictonal and one off prototypes of value? How does social networks contribute to society?
Design for context. As ubiquitous computing develops designers need to relate products to moving and changing context.