• Sohaila Mosbeh

Interaction and Fantasy

Class 01 - Intro to Physical Computing


Both Bert and Crawford go in hard on defining what makes something or a design really interactive. Bringing up concerns the future of interactivity and questioning more of what it is. To start of, let us kick it with Bret’s take on it first.


Bert asks us (the reader) to a take a few steps back and consider generally what can humans even do? We love to create things and we use tools and skills to do so. “A tool address human needs by amplifying human capabilities” So wouldn’t it make more sense that future of what we define as interactivity is already within our grips, literally! If we focus on how we use objects everyday that within it self is interaction. He brings up how all interfaces became one big blur of picture under the glass syndrome. He criticizes more about all these sleek flat surfaces that only requires a swipe of interaction, and not taking advantage to enhance the tools that already exists, the tools are there just at ends of our arms. Hands can feel things and manipulate them, it’s an extension of us and using them can heighten any experience.


Bret highlights this aspect of how much we use our hands and how they are sensitive already to everyday objects. By weight, feel, texture. It’s being taken for granted and over looked. It might be the key to unlocking how we can expand upon it more using “ tactile responses” because everything has that already embedded. He sets an example to think about the hand actions we perform from using our phones and kindle like devices (picture under the glass) versus the action of opening up a jar. How the hand forms a grip and then is placed upon on that jar to twist it “Experiencing the world and tools talk to us”


The quality of interaction depends mostly on the quality of the users use sense and response. Alan Kay who basically helped to create an early like version of what’s known to be know the Ipad, its interface we now use in our everyday tech, but if that was the future of interactivity back then. What’s our future now? How tactile and immersive can we make interaction again? To thinking of using the body as a whole in relation to the space we already inhabit use what we already own.


To move on to Crawfords take on it, he right on defines the overused word as “a cyclic process in which two actors alternately listen, think, and speak” he goes on into exploring which is a true meaning of the word and concept to stating it can be a very subjective understanding. Crawford gives an example of how two people having a conversation is the basics break down to understanding what is good interactivity from what makes it bad, active Listening and not dosing of to being understood and forming a thought and then the final step communicating the response clearly. Then comes a tricky part in this statements he goes on to describe how is there are low level and high level, but when it comes to books, films, and painting that is simply not interactive just merely half participating.Crawford makes a great case what defining what Interactivity is, but I would imagine him and Bert getting into an argument on how everything is technically interactive. Movies for example now are becoming more interactive such as Netflix’s movie Bandersnatch, where the viewer get to pick what the main character does next. So how can that not be considered at least a low level interactive? Or how a book can form mental imagines in a readers mind that can go on influence their work. It’s not the whole steps of listen, think, and speak, but I like to think of it as for every action there is always a reaction.


In Conclusion interactivity is defined very subjectivity across many fields. Crawford helped define it’s guidelines so us designers know what to stick by, but as time advances I am sure the guidelines might shift a bit but overall out of all for this I think the main core message is to always question the nature of what makes anything interactive.




In Class Activity | Fantasy Device

In this quick class exercise, my group was tasked to create a fantasy device. We came up with a phone case that can project emojis in real time along with it's scent, so imagine pushing beyond the tactile surface of a phone and including the sense of smell as well. How it works is one user simply texts the other an emoji say for instance grabbing a cup of coffee but the other person would receive is a hologram of the cup of coffee along with a spritz hint of coffee bean aroma. This can heighten the sens of communication through texts, but be careful getting anyone angry you don't want a bad smelling emoji headed your way.






© 2018 by Sohaila Mosbeh.