Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Learning Log "Chapter 9: The Future of Interaction Design"

This particular chapter intrigued me as the new mediums for interactions are coming together. The RFID chips are are an interesting way to link things together into a internet of things. The idea that everyday things can be networked opens up a completely new realm of interactivity. I've seen fridges that can tell you if the milks low and a car that will tell you when its needs an oil change. My father has a Metrocard (NY equivalent of a Transpass or Trailpass) that emails him whenever he needs to renew it, its a pretty great that we've already come this far. I think that one thing that should be made more interactive and that is the DMV, because they apparently lack the innovations of the last 20 years so much as they still rely on herding people into complex lines and patterns that come with condescending looks and the usual " You need the ________ form, this is a __________ form". I see the DMV using automation to handle routine things like license renewals, permit testing, and non driver ID applications. The human element can handle the sub routines of the automated tasks as well as tasks that machines are not able to administer like Eye exams, road tests, etc. The section on robotics was interesting as well because they talked about certain robots being sophisticated, namely Lego Mindstorms and the Scooba floor washing robot. I didn't see these robots as sophisticated because I assumed that Scooba used a sensor to make sure it does fall down the steps and the Mindstorms toy could only be so sophisticated seeing as how a 8 year old can put it together. But Saffer wrote that "Interaction designers need to be aware of two factors when designing robots: autonomy and social interaction". Then I realized as miniscule as the actions of those robots, they are very large in importance. I used to (and still do, don't know why) have a Tekno robotic dog, it had a motion sensor and could detect walls and stairs, the usual household hazards. It had some form of intelligence so it used to come to me when I sitting in living room like a real dog. I didn't realize how important that was because I was still upset about not having a real dog, so I ignored it. But the future does look bright for interaction, there will be computers in everything. A computer in my sneakers to tell me when they need to be replaced, a computer in my coffee so it can tell me when to drink, a computer in my eyeglasses so I can watch you-tube while I drive to work, and a computer in my body to tell when I'm going to die. I feel like people will go crazy with these concepts like spimes, ubicomps, and microprocessors, making useless applications for people. At some point, the human and the computer will come together, making the world a much better place. If that doesn't work out, we'll just be a bunch of iPhones walking around.

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