Humans experience the world through our bodies. We form understandings for how to interact with environments through bodily senses. The advent of new low-cost, low-power sensing technologies create the potential for new modes of interaction and communication. New interface ecosystems can sense, recognize, respond to, and represent nuances in our environments and in our bodies. The Interface Ecology Lab is emphasizing processes of human expression, ideation, and social interaction as we develop sensory interfaces that involve embodied awareness of the human body and the physical world.body-based diagramming
We are investigating how body-based interfaces support creativity and expression in design. Design processes are supported by embodied representations, including gestures, tangibles, and diagrams, which have been found to help people think. A diagram is a design thinking tool that enables and stimulates imagination, facilitating conceptualization. Diagrams mediate exploration of relationships between concepts, using ambiguous visual representations to foster varied, flexible interpretations. We use a form of diagramming called, information composition.
We are developing a new creativity support environment, Body-based IdeaMÂCHÉ, that enables designers to express, collect, organize, and reflect upon ideas using pen + touch interaction. The kinematic chain model for bimanual interaction serves as a basis for the design of new gestural interaction techniques. In the kinematic chain model, interactions with the non-preferred hand function as a frame of reference for actions with the preferred hand. For example, when drawing on paper, the non-preferred hand positions the paper for drawing with a pencil in the preferred hand. We seek to support expression and ideation by enabling designers to fluidly switch between and manipulate parameters of diagram transformations with their hands.cross-surface interaction
We are developing new methods for cross-surface interaction, that is interaction across multi-touch surfaces. Embodied cognition is key. We inform our designs through the use of culturally based design, a method that draws from the embodied experiences of activities embedded in culture. By mimicking these well established activities, interactions activate people's embodied mental models. This makes the interactions intuitive and familiar, as they draw from prior experiences. Our culturally based designs draw a variety of contexts, ranging from card playing to sharing and exchanging photographs.
Our long term objective is to give people interactive experiences in which embodied gestures performed by the human hand are mapped to actions in ways that are natural, meaningful and intuitive.