This week I read the chapter 1-2 of Crawford’s book The Art of Interactive Design and Bret Victor’s rant. I really enjoy both of the readings.
How would you define physical interaction?
According to Chris Crawford, he defined interaction as “a cyclic process in which two actors alternately listen, think, and speak.” He suggests not every encounter is an interactive action, it might just be a participation. For example, reading a book, watching a film, both of them are one-way communication and no interaction happens during the processes.
And Victor addresses in his blog: “We live in a three-dimensional world”, the future interaction should not only exist as “picture under glass”. He suggests a “dynamic medium that we can see, feel, and manipulate”.
So, I would say physical interaction, for me, is a tangible medium object that can be part of this conversation and it can listen well, think well, and of course response well. A example, Tilt Brush.
What makes for good physical interaction?
I am personally interested in the hands example Bret Victor talked in his rant, he believes our hands are the most valuable tool, because “Hands feel things, and hands manipulate things”.
I agree the part of a good physical interaction should address on the feeling of human:
- It should be easy to learn and use, so it won’t upset its users.
- It should be attractive, engages its users to interact with it.
- It should be smart, so it can understand and response its users better.
- It could focus other senses of people, the visual, olfactory or auditory….
Are there works from others that you would say are good examples of digital technology that are not interactive?
- Flap Display
One non-interactive digital technology thing I think works good is those big screens we can find in airport and train station. It displays arrivals and departures information in real time. Because it is not a interactive device, it can serve thousands people all travel information they need at the same time.
2. Robot Cleaner
Robot cleaner is an autonomous robotic vacuum that has intelligent programming, it can “self-drive” and clean floor autonomously without human control. It may “interact” with other objects like table, sofa, wall(when it will smartly change direction when touched any obstruction), but no interactive actions with human.