After I read this book ,I always thought about “How would you define physical interaction?”"What makes for good physical interaction?”
In my opinion,
1. According to Crawford, “interaction: a cyclic process in which two actors alternately listen, think, and speak.”
In human- machine interactive process, the 3 steps above of listen, think, speak could be considered as input, process and output.
Reacting is not interaction and Interactive communication is superior to conventional, one-way communication.
Interactivity design people integrate form with function.
2. Then let me add “physical” before “interaction”:
If the physical is space, physical interaction could be a space including virtual space.
Physical interaction could let the cyber space not only providing numerous information but also creating orderly virtual space, so people could communicate with each other easier and more comfortable.
And physical interaction could also include the connection with virtual space and real space.
Virtual social relationships not only challenge the traditional social relationships but also improve the traditional social relationships closely. That’s why we enjoy Facebook and other social network.
If the physical is material things, just as Bret Victor ranted in A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design, The touch screen of computer and mobile should open and develop our human’s hands ability.
Why we use hammer when we drive a nail into the wall? it just addresses human needs by amplifying human capabilities. All material things should adjust to human including physical interaction.
So when we use electronics stuff, they need to amplify human capabilities, relate to a person’s expression. There is a closely relationship between human, computer, electronic stuff.
Moreover, it is not the work only focusing on making something to imitate and replace human, our goal is connecting human with each other by computer.
If the physical is natural features, it is similar feeling when we using material things to interaction. When we use hands to touch the future mobile and computer, we couldn’t ignore the natural feature of human( we also couldn’t ignore the natural feature of all tools).
As Bret Victor said Hands feel things, and hands manipulate things. All human body could be considered like this when we are communicating with computer.
Recently, I have watched a Japanese movie, its name is Departures. It talked about old job of a funeral professional who prepares deceased bodies for burial and entry into the next life. As in Asian countries, we believe our life is a just trip and could be continued after we are dead. Most people in the movie including the leading actor‘s wife and others don’t understand the job, it is change, but the leading actor felt so good when he are cleaning and improving the dead body with tediously step in the process, the process is very gentle and suitable and could reestablish the dead body’s look and human dignity. I think interactivity design have similar nature as the man’s work. When we use technology, our interactive design should meet human’s needs with gentle, suitable way, help human communicate with each other better in world.
Are there works from others that you would say are good examples of digital technology that are not interactive?
They are television, Fridge, Camera, Video camera, Some of Robots focusing imitating human’s nature and so on. We don’t communicate with them.