Thursday, January 08, 2009

Becoming Physical --Blended Competence

Around this time of year it is easy to find people trying to predict the new year or a longer future. Everywhere I read about the future of interaction, the same theme reappears. We are moving into the era of "natural user interaction". In most cases this means that the traditional mouse and keyboard is replaced by touch, haptic, sensors, etc. Interaction becomes physical.

This is of course not a new trend, but just over the last couple of years we have seen it being manifested in real products on a mass market scale. I have written many times on this blog about this new blended reality, the challenge of dealing with a new form of "material" (the physical/digital compound). 

But even if this is not a new trend, it means many things for anyone involved in interaction design. Maybe the most important one is the realization that there is nothing anymore that is either purely physical or digital products. This is a realization that deeply influences how we think about competence. What does a designer of interaction need to understand in this new world. It is clear that to design interaction involves knowledge and understanding of both the physical aspects of a product as well as the digital. 

Ok, I have to go in the middle of this post...maybe I will come back to this later...or someone else can add to it :-)

1 comment:

Soumitri said...

i havent used a 'mouse' in two years. just the pad on the mac. so this is my chief way of interacting with the computer. with iphone this now has coe to mean 'touching the digital'. So a totally new dimension.

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