March 11, 2009

Interesting interfaces and I/O

At the last few conferences I’ve spoken at I’ve started with some little demo’s to demonstrate that the web as we know it is no longer a text based environment that you interact with using keyboard and mouse. Devices like the iPhone, Wii and others are shifting the way we interact with information and data – touch and gestures can be used to manipulate our digital environments.

As a demo I use the following Zefrank toy to show a simple example of using your laptop’s microphone to control a web app – http://www.zefrank.com/meditation_flowers/ – which is pretty cool. Certainly it get’s home the idea that thinking about the web as something driven by text and keyboard is an idea we need to move away from.

Two further thoughts though.

I recently downloaded Wikime to the iPhone which is a great little app that uses geo location to bring up wikipedia entries about places or things within up to 25km of your current location. A really great tool for interacting with the physical space around us and learning an awful lot about obscure places on the Moreton in Marsh to Paddingto rail line.

I thought that this was a great app for bringing together the physical and digital environments. It’s a similar shift to that which you see with apps like snap tell or QR codes that using the camera in your phone allow you to create interactions between the physical and digital.

This TED video then takes that to the extreme.

Cool and rather scary at the same time!

How does this change what we do? Not sure, but certainly a point of discussion.


- 4 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Steve Rumsby

    This reminds me a lot of the “ambient” or “pervasive” computing ideas I came away from Nokia OpenLab with last year. I absolutely love the idea and don’t find it it the least bit scary. Although perhaps I should…!

    A device like that has so much potential. I’m going to get so frustrated if I keep thinking about it, because I’ll end up with so many ideas and no way to do anything about them…

    11 Mar 2009, 11:55

  2. Agree with that sentiment. As someone recently said to me – when you think about your kids – the devices they will use to interact with information and the world around them, they haven’t even been comprehended yet, let alone invented.

    11 Mar 2009, 12:06

  3. Steve Rumsby

    If that device was properly manufactured with purpose-built components, I wonder how small they could get it. And how cheap. To get something that small and for $350 with off-the-shelf components makes me think there’s a lot of scope for smaller/cheaper there. Must stop thinking about it…:-)

    11 Mar 2009, 12:58

  4. Love the following scenario – wearing one of these things you bump into someone you described as a pillock on your blog the day before and lo – the word pillock appears projected across their foreheads – or if they are wearing one, yours.

    And the lesson is – be careful what you blog about.

    11 Mar 2009, 13:29


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