Designing Tomorrow’s Digital/Physical Interfaces
The Mobile Revolution has reduced the costs of components and production to the point that the Davids now build and ship their device ideas quicker than the Goliaths. Gadgets are getting faster and smaller and big companies are learning more than ever on the community at large to make them shine.
But this shift has done little to move interface design forward. The prevailing school of thought constrains us to develop devices within the ‘brain+fingertips+glass=interaction’ metaphor, making little use of our perceptual and motor potential. There’s only so far we can go with multi-touch in bridging physical with digital.
The biggest leaps in interface innovation have come from the speculative designers, who’ve taken tremendous risks to forge a new set of digital hand tools, building a new breed of devices that do not limit users to finger movements and visual/auditory feedback, but instead utilize our spatial and sensory abilities to escape the Glass Slab - especially in the area of play.
I co-founded Sifteo in 2009 to develop the future of play, and I now work with a group of extremely talented, creative people. We are building amazing things!
I worked for Marvel Comics and Nintendo, now I am completing my PhD in design research. In 2009, I gave a TED talk about my work on shape-shifting mobile phones.
Leah Buechley is an Assistant Professor at the MIT Media Lab where she directs the High-Low Tech research group. The High-Low Tech group explores the integration of high and low technology from cultural, material, and practical perspectives, with the goal of engaging diverse groups of people in developing their own technologies.