« Sketching in Hardware Day 1: David Zicarelli | Sketching in Hardware Day 1: Eric von Hippel »

July 25, 2008

Sketching in Hardware Day 1: Tom Igoe

Physical Computing's Greatest Hits: the wheels that people reinvent again and again
(in rough order)

  1. theremin-like instruments
  2. drum gloves (tangible vs intangible)
  3. dance floors
  4. Scooby-Doo paintings: paintings that react to presence (easy to sense presence, hard to sense attention)
  5. body-as-cursor
  6. video mirrors (aka, hand wavers, because people always wave their hands)
  7. mechanical pixels
  8. hand-as-cursor (aka Minority Report)
  9. multi-touch surfaces (exercise:operate an iPhone while it's in your pocket)
  10. tilty stands and tables
  11. tilty controllers
  12. things you yell at
  13. meditation helpers
  14. fields of grass (running your hand across it affects it)
  15. dolls and pets
  16. remote hugs
  17. LED fetishism


these are really design patterns
what they have in common: 10 second space of expertise achievement, so they all feel the same
we need a tradition of "hello world" projects in crit culture, so we can focus on applied culture
tradition is fundamental in mature fields
but there may be just a community-wide obsession with the technical level

Posted by egoodman at July 25, 2008 11:40 AM


This is interesting to see... I often wonder when the time will come when there is a museum of interactive technology. Then students can start their studies with a baseline in work that has been done before. Like playing the scales or imitating the masters. What can we expect as incoming students have a working knowledge of using these design patterns? Hopefully they can experiment and innovate from there.

Posted by: agmilmoe at July 25, 2008 2:30 PM

I think, as with industrial design, there will be (I hope) both museums and a critical literature that is more focused on the ideas than the specific technologies. I think Sabine Seymour's recent Fashionable Technologies book is a good step in that direction. But it still comes down to changing pedagogy: students have to read the books in order to think through them.

Posted by: Registered User at July 26, 2008 8:39 AM

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry: