26 October 2008

Timo Arnall on design directions for physical interfaces

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The web in the world
Timo Arnall, a designer working with interactive products and media, runs a design research project that looks at emerging technologies at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design.

In a new presentation he explores the current shift in technology from screen-based interaction to physical interaction with the world around us.

In the same way as the web is quickly extending onto the mobile platform, we are starting to see the web moving further into the physical world. Many emerging technologies are beginning to offer physical-world inputs and outputs; multi-touch iPhones, gestural Wii controllers, RFID-driven museum interfaces, QR-coded magazines and GPS-enabled mobile phones.

These technologies have been used to create very useful services that interact with the web such as Plazes, Nokia Sports Tracker, Wattson, Tikitag and Nike Plus. But the technologies themselves often overshadow the user-experience and so far designers haven’t had language or patterns to express new ideas for these interfaces.

This talk will focus on a number of design directions for new physical interfaces. We will discuss various ideas around presence, location, context awareness, peripheral interaction as well as haptics and tangible interfaces. How do these interactions work with the web? What are the potentials and problems, and what kinds of design approaches are needed?

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