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Physical Interaction Design and Realization. Introduction Intro. Who's who: Cristian, course participants Examiner: Yngve Sundblad A design practitioner assistant Maybe a technology assistant A bit of course history Traditionally one intensive week using one technology

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  • Who's who: Cristian, course participants
    • Examiner: Yngve Sundblad
    • A design practitioner assistant
    • Maybe a technology assistant
  • A bit of course history
    • Traditionally one intensive week using one technology
    • For the fourth time in this extended format, introducing multiple technologies, and a variety of approaches
    • 12 F + 12 L theoretically, the rest of the time you will do own work, Cristian will be around for questions
    • "Under construction"
  • We approach Physical Computing from an HCI/Interaction Design tradition
  • Novel forms of interaction
  • Continuously evolving area, lots of projects, tools and approaches out there
    • always something new to learn
    • always something to look up
    • there is no person who knows everything
  • Students will get familiar with techniques and technologies allowing them to create interactive systems that work outside, or along with the classical mouse-keyboard-and-screen/WIMP paradigm.
  • Students will be able identify the sensors, actuators and microcontrollers needed for a system,
  • and use them for prototypes of various levels of fidelity, which they will put together in a hands-on manner.
administrative checklist
Administrative checklist
  • Personal intro
    • interest in the course
    • Level of programming knowledge
    • Level of electronics/hardware knowledge
  • Book: O’Sullivan and Igoe, Physical Computing
  • English
  • E-mails
  • Laptops
  • Projects: "the prototype", "the project"
  • group work (project, 7,5hp) and individual reflection
  • Course schedule, issues
  • Guest lectures may be added later
an interaction design perspective on physical computing
An Interaction Design Perspective on Physical Computing
  • Interaction Design (from Preece et al. 2002)
    • Designing interactive products to support people in their everyday and working lives (page 6)
  • In this course we introduce a specific set of challenges and materials for such design
  • "Physical Interaction Design"
  • The challenges have to do less with usability goals (page 14)
    • Effectivenes, efficiency, safety, utility, learnability, memorability
  • … but user experience goals (page 18) are more important:
    • satisfying, enjoyable, fun, entertaining, helpful, motivating, aesthetically pleasing, supporting creativity, rewarding, emotionally fulfilling
usability principles applied to physical computing
Usability principles applied to Physical computing

Norman, The Design of Everyday Things (1988)

Cognitive approach

  • Visibility of features
  • Feedback
  • Constraints
    • Physical, logical, cultural
  • Mapping
  • Consistency
  • Affordance
    • Attribute that allows people to know how to use it
  • Definitions by exclusion, i.e. what it is not
  • Preece et al. "For many years the prevailing paradigm in IxD was to develop applications for the desktop…single users in front of a CPU, monitor, keyboard and mouse…WIMP" (page 60). Paradigms "beyond the desktop"
  • Dix et al., page 716: computers as glass box: press buttons and see the effect. Breaking the glass box by linking the real and the electronic. Devices are distributed through the physical world and more tightly integrated with it
user experience
User experience
  • Part of “satisfaction” in traditional usability definitions
  • Every product has a user experience, from newspapers to ketchup bottles (Preece et al., Garrett 2003)
  • You cannot design a user experience, only design for a user experience
    • One cannot create a sensual experience, only create the design features that can evoke it
embodied interaction
Embodied Interaction
  • Paul Dourish “Where the action is”
  • Tangible and Social approaches to computing
  • What does tangible have to do with the social?
    • They both explore our familiarity and facility with the everyday world
    • World of social interaction, world of physical artefacts
    • The way everyday world works, the way we experience it
definitions in relation to the human body
Definitions in relation to the human body
  • Tom Igoe's course,
  • Physical Computing is an approach to learning how humans communicate through computers that starts by considering how humans express themselves physically. In this course, we take the human body as a given, and attempt to design computing applications within the limits of its expression.
    • To realize this goal, you'll learn how a computer converts the changes in energy given off by our bodies (in the form of sound, light, motion, and other forms) into changing electronic signals that it can read interpret. You'll learn about the sensors that do this, and about very simple computers called microcontrollers that read sensors and convert their output into data. Finally, you'll learn how microcontrollers communicate with other computers.
troubles with definitions
Troubles with definitions
  • Definitions by exclusion are not so helpful. That somehow explains why things are so diverse (which is not bad in itself)
  • Most definitions do not account for the social implications of many installations
    • Most of them are not "personal" like PCs so more than one person can interact with them in a meaningful fashion. I.e. socially meaningful
    • Even if they are personal, their data might travel to others via the internet.
      • The MediaCup is an ordinary coffee cup augmented with sensing, processing and communication capabilities, to collect and communicate general context information in a given environment. In this project, coffee cups are computerized to integrate them and the information they hold— where the cup is, how it is handled, and whether it’s hot or cold— as context into surrounding information ecologies.
techie visions of computing
(techie) Visions of Computing
  • Preece et al., page 60, Dix et al. chapter 20
  • Ubiquitous computing (Weiser), technology embedded in the environment, the user doesn't need to walk to it, but it locates the user and serves him/her. "Woodwork"
    • Pervasive computing, anytime anywhere, either by portability or by embedding in everyday objects like fridge doors
    • Wearable computing (clothes, jewelry, shoes, glasses), Body Area Network
techie visions
Techie Visions
  • Tangible User Interaction or Tangible bits (Hiroshii Ishii), integrations of computational augmentations into the physical reality
    • E.g. books embedded with digital information
    • "breaking the glass box"
    • Augmented Reality, virtual representations superimposed on physical devices/objects
    • Interactive surfaces (tabletops)
    • Context-aware computing: When, where, who, why?
dialog with the materials
Dialog with the materials
  • The act of design is often regarded as a dialogue
  • The “artist-designer” makes sketches or other intermediary representations and evaluates them before the next step
  • Prototyping
  • Materials for us: digital (controllers, sensors, actuators), physical (foam, cardboard…), traditional digital (desktops, etc)
components of a physical computing system
Components of a Physical Computing System
  • controllers
    • high-level (Basic Stamp, Phidgets)
    • low-level (PIC)
    • middle level (Arduino)
    • wireless sensors platforms (mostly low level), Smart-it, Mote
    • Middle-level wireless sensor platform: SunSPOT
  • sensors
  • actuators
  • communication to other controller or PC
    • wireless communication
  • programming environment on PC