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jon_winebrenner
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THEME:
Gestural Interfaces
(or Everyday Objects as Interfaces)

BRIEF:
Digital interfaces, while compelling and empowering, drive us towards a flatness that’s disorienting and boring. We’re losing the richness that makes the physical world so compelling. Worse yet, we’re replacing intuitive interactions with poor substitutes in our effort to make everything ‘fit’ on screen.

This 1 Hour Design Challenge invites designers to come up with a meaningful counterpoint to the all-in-one interface of the screen. You are tasked with creating a simple but engaging interaction that does not rely on a screen for input or output. You are free to appropriate an everyday object or to create a unique piece of geometry, but your solution must invite the user to interact with information or their surroundings in a way that encourages discovery while delivering an element of performance.

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For example, in the diagram above, flipping over a chair switches an ‘open’
sign off.

What if you could turn off your reading light by simply closing a book?

What if your pen became heavier as you wrote larger checks?

The best solutions combine object, ritual and context. What will yours be?

To learn more about the inspiration behind this challenge visit Teague at http://www.teague.com


HOW TO ENTER:
Participants must execute their design in only 1 hour, based on an honor system. Upload sketches, diagrams or hi-res photos and a brief text description of your design to the designated submission forum.

JURY:
Winners will be selected by Core77 along with Ben Collette, Adam Kumpf and Tad Toulis from Teague.

CRITERIA:
Judging will be based on degree of innovation, strength of concept and ambition of idea.

PRIZE:
First place winner will be awarded an Arduino kit and Teague will donate $500 in their name to NPower Seattle.

Second Place winner will receive a $500 donation in their name to Project H Design from Teague.

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jon_winebrenner
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Please use this forum for DISCUSSION ONLY


Sketchme
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IP,

I read your confesions post earlier last month and in it you mentioned the struggle with the 1HDC. I have to say that what you have come up with for this month is fantastic, my jaw dropped at the compelling nature of the brief as well as the quality of judging behind it. You have done a fantastic job with this. Truely a brilliantly designed brief.

Simply awesome.

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jon_winebrenner
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Sketchme wrote:IP,

I read your confesions post earlier last month and in it you mentioned the struggle with the 1HDC. I have to say that what you have come up with for this month is fantastic, my jaw dropped at the compelling nature of the brief as well as the quality of judging behind it. You have done a fantastic job with this. Truely a brilliantly designed brief.

Simply awesome.


Thanks, but the full credit goes to the Core77 crew and Teague. I simply posted this one.

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Atohms
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So this is an example of what we are talking about?
http://www.dynamictextures.com/Thesis/Welcome.html

Or are we talking about objects that become interfaces? Wii?

BTW: LOve the assignment ;)

T
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ineo
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I'm pretty sure these are called implicit interactions (at least that's what I've been calling them).

Every day, we as humans communicate in person- but not just through talking. Gestures, expressions, and tones all complement what we have to say when we have a conversation with someone, by implying emotions. The same idea can be applied to objects- the action of doing something can imply something else. The example given of moving the chair on or off the table top is a great example- when we look into a restaurant and see chairs on tables, we know that they're closed. It's implied! These sort of interactions are part of our lives, and the more integrated and connected everything becomes, the more prevalent these seemingly obvious interactions will become.

For example, if your bed was hooked up to your floor and clock, you could have an entire system when you wake up. The floor would have a touch sensor in it that needs to be stepped on to turn off your alarm- the action of doing that prepares your bathroom, by heating up the shower, and setting up whatever else you do in the morning. Since most people have a morning ritual, this "smart house" concept could work... who knows.

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Atohms
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ineo wrote:For example, if your bed was hooked up to your floor and clock, you could have an entire system when you wake up. The floor would have a touch sensor in it that needs to be stepped on to turn off your alarm- the action of doing that prepares your bathroom, by heating up the shower, and setting up whatever else you do in the morning. Since most people have a morning ritual, this "smart house" concept could work... who knows....


You step on the floor an your toaster starts toasting. Your eggs'n bacon get fried and the coffee machine starts running. The office is noticed that you probably will be on time. The car recheck's if it is fully charged or the changes to the public-transport-system are communicated through your smartphone. It's mothersday so a bouquet of flowers is delivered to your home to surprise your wife. The cats get fed automatically, the milk for the little one gets heated...
There's some big brother feeling but it sure would be nice not to think of all those thing and get them done automatically.

This would just be a continuation of the current situation where we get more and more independent of technology to get our (basic) needs satisfied. It happens automatically so we can focus more on our secondary, tertiary, ... needs.

Do you go hunting for your food? Grow your own crops? Dig a hole in the ground to take a shit?

The smart house. Or smart environment as I would call it really is the logical next step in evolution.
We've already succeeded in changing our environment and now we will change it so it satisfies our every need.
Wherever and whenever.
Sounds a little spooky but I don't see why this wouldn't happen or what would stop it from happening (some kind of Pandemic ,WWIII , Collapse of the economic system?)


But I'm getting of topic. Love the subject.
Food for thought ;)


Grtz

T
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LabRats
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For my submission I was thinking of incorporating something along the lines of the second trial from the Grail cave in Indian Jones and the Last Crusade but ran out of time. :lol:
"I must keep the windows open wide enough to let fresh air in but never wide enough for me to jump out." - Attaboy

Woot!


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This isn't a submission but rather a pointer to an idea that fits the gestural interface design challenge.

Knock Knock Lock! [video]

Clever gestural interface. http://www.kontraband.com/videos/20313/ ... nock-Lock/

Enjoy,

avreese

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tally-ho
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Great assignment!

For example, if your bed was hooked up to your floor and clock, you could have an entire system when you wake up. The floor would have a touch sensor in it that needs to be stepped on to turn off your alarm- the action of doing that prepares your bathroom, by heating up the shower, and setting up whatever else you do in the morning. Since most people have a morning ritual, this "smart house" concept could work... who knows.


I guess were it comes down to is to invent some kind of automation which makes sense in the first place. Full futuristic smart house automation doesn't makes sense to me, there are just too many possible scenarios in which it gets annoying and above all undesirable. Even if that happens in 1% of all cases. It's like a chain of events which get triggered by one action. I more believe in a logical relationship between two objects which are related in a daily ritual.

When I read the assigment I immediately had to think of this solution, gosh I wished I'd invented that one:

http://www.sonyericsson.com/putyourearsincontrol/

The idea is that when you're listening to music and you take out one or both headphones, the music pauses. GREAT idea! Philips also did similar conceptual work by the way.

One questions though on the assignment, are multiple submissions allowed?

Cheers,
T

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ineo
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tally-ho wrote:Great assignment!



I guess were it comes down to is to invent some kind of automation which makes sense in the first place. Full futuristic smart house automation doesn't makes sense to me, there are just too many possible scenarios in which it gets annoying and above all undesirable. Even if that happens in 1% of all cases. It's like a chain of events which get triggered by one action. I more believe in a logical relationship between two objects which are related in a daily ritual.

When I read the assigment I immediately had to think of this solution, gosh I wished I'd invented that one:

http://www.sonyericsson.com/putyourearsincontrol/

The idea is that when you're listening to music and you take out one or both headphones, the music pauses. GREAT idea! Philips also did similar conceptual work by the way.

One questions though on the assignment, are multiple submissions allowed?

Cheers,
T


Oh definitely- a totally automated house is way too much of a leap from where we are now, it was pretty much the first thing that came to mind which I thought helped explain an implicit interaction. The headphone idea is genius- I've seen a few other mobile implicit interactions:

1. A phone that goes into sleep mode when turned upside down- when we put our phone in our pocket, it is implied that it is no longer in use
2. the iPod headphone Jack- I use this one all the time: Waking the iPod up is a lot more work than simply pulling out the headphones. When headphones are taken out, the iPod instantly pauses your music without waking up, a sort of understanding that you no longer are listening to music.
3. Palm Touchstone- when you come home from school/work, fiddling with wires is the last thing you want to do. Instead, you can just toss your phone onto a plate (well... place gently...) and let it sync/charge.
4. Microsoft surface- this one you're going to have to google, as it created a boat-load of awesome implicit interactions


As we get more used to these simpler "product" interactions (simple might be the wrong word... more intuitive? more natural? more obvious? All of those?), location/environment interactions may start to pop up. The technology is certainly doable, and with an assurance of no access to private data (no big brother is watching you feeling... and once again off the top of my head.. so not too much thought into these):

1. An interactive movie theatre- upon entry into the theatre room, your phone immediately turns to silent and upon leaving it is immediately returned back to normal. If an alarm goes off (a silent robber alarm or a fire alarm or weather alert etc,), all features are restored. It might be able to prevent outgoing calls as well, with a friendly message of "please leave the theater to place your call". Also, cameras could be disabled to prevent piracy?

2. An interactive conference room/classroom- each room can have communication standards set prior to a meeting, and for a certain time. This would allow you disable your phone's ringer like the theatre, but can also apply to other devices, like a laptop. If you're giving a presentation, the communication standard could prevent any disruption in the presentation from email alerts to software updates. For classrooms (I'm thinking back to high school right now)- you can enable not only web-bockers but application blockers. Instead of blocking out certain websites on the internet, you can prevent the application from being open in the first place. Like the office, these could be set per-classroom. So if one class wants to do online research, all applications are fine. But if you're in the middle of a history lecture, the teacher could disable all apps except text editors.... that means no more solitaire or minesweeper

3. Interactive theme parks/museums- as more and more people begin to have smart phones (well, app phones- I use this term for phones that can run a plethora of different applications), maps, virtual tickets, and planning guides (so you can set up your day in terms of rides or exhibits before you even arrive) could be sent straight to your device- in fact they already are. But this could be taken a step further, with, for example, as you approach an artwork, its information is sent straight to your device, and taken away once you leave. Interactive maps could detect where you've been and where you want to go based on your planning, and give you mapquest-esque directions right on your device (e.g. turn left at the rodin sculpture, and enter the blue building. This is the impressionist center- down the hall on your right is an elevator, go up to floor three, and the art you were looking for is in the second gallery). Personalized directions can be made per-park/attraction/museum.

I think I'm getting a little far from the original prompt with these ideas- but I think a step beyond simple product gestural interfaces is an environment of these interfaces (which is pretty much what Atohms said... didnt even realize it haha). They're kinda scary in that they seem to limit what we do depending on where we are, and anyone could install them anywhere, so obviously some type of secure/approval system would need to be in place. These interactions are not replacing anybody or anything in particular, so no robot apocalypse would result from these interfaces. Rather, they help create a better environment, which in the end, creates a better experience (unless you're one of those [jerks] who enjoy talking on their phone during a movie).
Last edited by ineo on May 12th, 2010, 1:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

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jon_winebrenner
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tally-ho wrote:One questions though on the assignment, are multiple submissions allowed?


Absolutely. The only stipulation is that each one must be designed in under 1 hour.

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tally-ho
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Oh definitely- a totally automated house is way too much of a leap from where we are now, it was pretty much the first thing that came to mind which I thought helped explain an implicit interaction. The headphone idea is genius- I've seen a few other mobile implicit interactions:

1. A phone that goes into sleep mode when turned upside down- when we put our phone in our pocket, it is implied that it is no longer in use
2. the iPod headphone Jack- I use this one all the time: Waking the iPod up is a lot more work than simply pulling out the headphones. When headphones are taken out, the iPod instantly pauses your music without waking up, a sort of understanding that you no longer are listening to music.
3. Palm Touchstone- when you come home from school/work, fiddling with wires is the last thing you want to do. Instead, you can just toss your phone onto a plate (well... place gently...) and let it sync/charge.
4. Microsoft surface- this one you're going to have to google, as it created a boat-load of awesome implicit interactions


Thanks for the examples, I didn't know that trick with the headphones on the iPod! Have to try that one later.

Absolutely. The only stipulation is that each one must be designed in under 1 hour.


Great, I will see if I can come up with another one.


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ineo wrote:For example, if your bed was hooked up to your floor and clock, you could have an entire system when you wake up. The floor would have a touch sensor in it that needs to be stepped on to turn off your alarm- the action of doing that prepares your bathroom, by heating up the shower, and setting up whatever else you do in the morning. Since most people have a morning ritual, this "smart house" concept could work... who knows.


I just thought i'd chime in to say that I think that the futuristic techno - house that takes care of your needs is not a good example of the "rich interaction" this challenge calls out for.

At least in the example above, all you have to do to interact with the system is wake up and get out of bed to get things rolling, and then your whole routine is executed for you. That is just a shortcut. That actually robs you of interaction.
If you, say, had to solve a puzzle every morning to get the alarm off and get your brain working, or even wrestle a robotic alarm clock to the ground to turn it off and to get energized, that would be rich interaction.
Some of the submissions that are already posted are only tools to make us lazier, by executing our button pushing for us because we don't want to. That only dodges the task at hand of making the button more fulfilling to push.

This is a complicated bit of the philosophy of technology, and I just thought I would bring up the other side of the argument, which I believe has a very strong case.

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ineo
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bjd9282 wrote:
I just thought i'd chime in to say that I think that the futuristic techno - house that takes care of your needs is not a good example of the "rich interaction" this challenge calls out for.

At least in the example above, all you have to do to interact with the system is wake up and get out of bed to get things rolling, and then your whole routine is executed for you. That is just a shortcut. That actually robs you of interaction.
If you, say, had to solve a puzzle every morning to get the alarm off and get your brain working, or even wrestle a robotic alarm clock to the ground to turn it off and to get energized, that would be rich interaction.
Some of the submissions that are already posted are only tools to make us lazier, by executing our button pushing for us because we don't want to. That only dodges the task at hand of making the button more fulfilling to push.

This is a complicated bit of the philosophy of technology, and I just thought I would bring up the other side of the argument, which I believe has a very strong case.


That's a really interesting idea I pretty much looked over- the fact that by introducing new interactions into our lives, older, analogue interactions will disappear. The chair example in the prompt is another example of making us lazier- we no longer have to turn off the open sign manually. However, I'm not quite sure that these things will make us lazier- instead they will allow us to make the annoying parts of living easier and let us focus on the important parts of life, like social interaction, work, and play. So instead of spending an hour pressing the snooze button every morning, you start your day earlier, or instead of getting lost at an amusement park, and wasting a few hours finding where you are, you can spend that time riding (well waiting in a line for) rides. So yes, these interactions rob us of the physical turning a shower on or using a map, but they replace those actions with time you can spend doing things that matter.

I totally understand the use of a mind-game to wake you up in the morning, and it's a truly awesome idea. I'm just not sure that I want to wake up in the morning to an alarm that can't be turned off until I solve the day's mensa puzzle (yes, I know design isn't just about me.... haha). I think the challenge would be in implementing the futuristic "techno" in a way that isn't "futuristic techno". What I mean by that is we should create a way in which new interactions can be implemented in a sense so that they don't feel terrifying and earth-shattering. You don't want to wake up like Wallace and Grommit every morning, yet I think the fact that my alarm can decide certain days of the year to not go off (and they always are the most important ones too...) is a serious problem. There needs to be some kind of interaction which ensures that we get up and get moving as efficiently as possible, while still being natural and intuitive.

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