I’m still not quite sure what my midterm project is going to be. After having seen Simon’s work, I feel very inspired by him, and might incorporate some element inspired by his work. Also, I’m thinking of doing more of an interactive art project, so I’m exploring the ideas of working with sculpture, paint, laser, or some other form of creating something creative.
The writer is very defensive in this one. He completely goes against each comment very directly. To me, his tone and choice of words makes me take him less seriously. I understand his point of view, but I dont fully agree with his comment about voice not being explorable. Especially having seen the way the artist Zimoun explored sound. Also, the comment about the kid being able to use the ipad but not tie their shoelaces is very superficial. A child will know how to use something they practice at. If the child spent as much time practicing tying their laces, they would know how to do that, instead of how to use the ipad. Generally he seemed to be overreacting and illogical in the way he responded to the comments, which almost discredited his article for me…
What I plan to do for my midterm project is a tilt maze. I plan to make a wooden maze which will be tilted by servos which will be controlled in a very uncommon way. For example to tilt the X axis clockwise breathe on this sensor. And so on 🙂 I came up with this idea during the discussions yesterday and I really liked it how it turned out. Rick gave me some ideas about the controls, and Steve gave me some feedback on the idea in general. Mostly they liked the idea.
So, after reading the response, I still stick to what I have said.
First off, yes, he did not provide a solution. And technically, everyone can rant about everything. But if you rant about something, without providing a potential solution or a plausible counter-argument, I believe that your ‘rant’ loses a lot of credibility.
As for my main response to his argument, it did not change at all. I firmly believe that his way. of changing interaction design will remain inefficient unless he can provide an actual solution that will, indeed increase the sentiment of using our hands as tools yet simultaneously keep or improve the efficiency that touching and swiping provides.
He probably wasn’t the first one to ask, “Hey, but isn’t touching and swiping giving less sentimental values?” But the reason it hasn’t been heard, or has been but haven’t been implemented yet is because there are maybe significant drawbacks to doing so. If it was a beneficial argument, I think that people would have incorporated that and tried to actually come up with a solution that is the best of every problem, but efficiency and additional actions do not go hand in hand.
“Let’s start using our hands”
The article written by Victor was an inspiring one that allowed me to take a step back in all the wild technologic advancements. Recently, we have been extremely indulged in creating technologies that do not require any touch using our hands – and, we call that the technologic advancement.
Take virtual reality (VR) as an example. In a virtual reality experience, we are given a controller (or controllers) held by our hands to manipulate what we see. VR has been regarded as one of the technologic innovation that people believe it has extended our experience in the virtual world. However, in the experience, our hands are not actually “feeling” the feedback that we manipulate in the VR experience. And, the myriads of tricks that the hands do are limited to pressing the button and moving/rotating your arm/wrist. So, the VR experience maybe a new insight for our visual and auditory senses, but at the cost of limiting some physical senses.
… we’ve just created a future where people can and will spend their lives completely immobile.
The reason why I brought up the example above is to provide an additional example to the direction that Victor indicates from the statement above. It is for a fact that the advancement of our technology continues simplify the interactions that use our physical body and disconnects the natural feedback that we used to get from a medium. And, by “channeling all interaction through a single finger“, we will slowly become more dependent on machines do perform different tasks – and when the moment comes to do all these tasks that the machine does for us by ourselves, I afraid that we will not be able to or rather we do not remember how. Thus, I strongly believe, as partakers of the technologic innovations and crafters of dynamic media, people should be wary of this issue when they are developing a new medium.
Bret makes some really valid arguments regarding the inevitable numbing of human senses, due to people’s excessive reliance on technology. His brief rant made me consider the innate intricacy of my hand movements, and how I often underestimate how powerful of a tool the body is. I also admired how Bret defined his article as a simple acknowledgement of a problem, rather than a grand vision for the future.
There is some merit in Bret’s argument about our immense capability to manipulate object through a wide range of hand and body movements, and that we shouldn’t opt for an increasing use of “Picture Under Glass” – which Bret deems a “visual facade”. However, in an increasingly industrialized world, technology is dominant in shaping our interactions with our environment and with one another. Hence, it is ambitious to assume that people will forgo the use of technologies that facilitate and make their lives much easier.
Bret’s suggestion to invest more research and funding into developing a more dynamic medium – such as haptic technology – is also an interesting premise; as he doesn’t completely rule out the importance of technology to any future developments.
Okay, so this is before I read the response to the first article, and I will upload a similar thought to that article soon. For now, though, here are my thoughts to the original piece.
One on hand, I do comprehend the intention of the author. Bret Victor aims to criticize the current state of design of interaction technology by mocking that the “Pictures Under Glass” (PUG) does not comply well with how our fingers and hands are supposed to use tools. And in a sense, that is true: most of the time the only gestures we utilize are touches, swipes, and a few others. However, I do disagree with his point, and here are two reasons why.
First of all, I want to address this issue in a different perspective. Why make our tools more intricate than it is right now? We use touches and swipes because they are feasible to use. Yes, maybe it gives less sentiment to use these few gestures to go about with our technological devices, yet I do believe that if we were to make them more “hand-interactive”, as the author intends to, most processes will take longer to finish. The goal then, is to try to improve and give sentiment of using our hands without creating more problems.
Furthermore, our tools (phones, tablets) do utilize numerous hand-like gestures. Of course, this is usually when we are playing mobile games, but it is not like they are not capable of doing so. For instance, there is a mobile game where you have to grab your phone/pad and hold it up, trying to balance a ball that is on the screen. The game itself feels like the ball is actually on the device, since the device senses your balance motion. So this again self-explains that although we CAN use these tools, we do not because of maybe the first reason.
I think that this article allows for the author to go more in-depth into what he wanted to explain in the original article. In the first article, there is a large build-up to his main argument that touchscreens should not be the future because of its restrictive nature. While he does not provide any absolute solutions to the problem he proposes, I found his analysis of different pathways that interactive technology might take in the coming years to be extremely interesting, and more interesting than the first because of his tackling of tangible examples of this technology he refers to.
I agree with all the major points the author makes, specifically about voice technology and “waving” technology, but he uses this article to reinforce his point in the previous: user interfaces, or the ones we believe the ones of the future will be like, do not provide an immersive experience for the user. It would be very interesting to read about his beliefs in research on user experience, because he merely states that he hopes his rant to inspire more interest in this research, not specific ways in which this research can take place to promote the creation of effective experiences.
For my midterm project, I was thinking of creating an art piece using projection and servo motors. At the moment, in its conceptual stage, I’m imagining a projector pointing downwards towards a space (floor, table?) with a motor attached to a metal rod moving around in circles, carrying a paper plane that will take us on a trip through Abu Dhabi from dawn to night in a loop, using film projections and sound.
I will be attaching the paper plane to a metal rod, which will be connected to the servo motor in the center. Here’s a rough sketch:
The shaded area is where the video footage is going to appear, and the paper kite will be rotating around the circle in a loop, powered by the Servo in the center.
Now, I have two challenges with regards to this project. First, I’d like to incorporate an ‘interactive’ aspect to it, where it’s not just a narrative using video, sound and the paper plane. I’d like some element of it to be controlled by the viewer, and so I may add pressure sensors or buttons, for the user to be able to “control” the paper plane’s direction, in a way turning the installation into a mini-game. The other challenge would be manipulating film footage of aerial and city views of Abu Dhabi to fit into a circular/donut-shaped form surrounding the motor.
I liked how Bret responded to the criticism/comments on his rant. It makes it more personal and makes it seem like he really cares and doesn’t want people to get the wrong idea. Good on you, Bret.
I liked his comment about how voice isn’t exactly where he thinks the future is but “if voice gets you excited, do it”. It was inspiring to know that, even though he wasn’t passionate about it, if you can recognise the potential in something and get excited about it, then you should absolutely pursue research in that field. Maybe you’re on to something.
His idea that in the future, if the computer continues progressing the way it is (I.e. not interacting with the physical world and the body), then humans will face the risk of becoming completely immobile. While this is terrifying, and is a very real fear we should strive to stay away from, it just reminded me of that scene from Wall-E with all the overweight people in the chairs who don’t know how to walk. I feel like that’s where humanity is heading if we don’t get active with our technology.