No Touching! Truly Invisible Interfaces

Monday, March 15, 2010
Ron Goldin – Lunar

Our devices know which way we’re moving and how dark it is outside. They look us in the face with cameras while we’re tweeting away. They sometimes even understand when we talk back to them. Learn about success stories and untapped potential in physical interactivity that doesn’t involve touching anything at all.

Designing for touch: People and Context Come First.
The technology is here. Sort of.
We change with technology, eventually.

Once we get used to an interface, we get faster at it (shortcuts).

Mouse made it easy to interact with things on the screen.

Getting rid of the physical metaphor completely (iphone, pre, droid) touch screens.

Nintendo Wii – interaction around the entire room.

Soft Remote:
Twist, squeeze, pull the balls to interact with things. Everyone in the room would have a different remote/color to interact in a social way.

B+O Touchless remote
You don’t have to physically touch the remote to interact with it. Video from Engaget

TouchTunes (Airduino)
Air guitar device that involves glove-like device to play guitar through the air. Make one yourself

Playstation 3 Eye
The entire living room is turned into an interface. New Playstation Move similar to the Wii Remote.

Touchless picks up the subtleties of the human body – physical targets help to sort out the noise.

Sony Ericcson Yari
Control the phone with the camera and play games (iboxing)

Medical Devices
Gestics uses gesture interfaces to compliment the surgical procedure. You can use your free hand to view things closer/rotate on the screen.


  • Discoverability
  • Trust
  • Responsiveness
  • Appropriateness (does it make me feel silly?)
  • Physical Feedback (i can’t feel the actual interface)

State of Voice
Goog-411 good response
Google Voice has some issues.
Cars can listen soon, ask about places and get directions. It gets smarter with the sub-grammar is has.

CereBroc is able to make a voice sound correct and not like a robot when a device talks back


  • Nike Plus – running to compete against your friend
  • Middle school kids are given step sensors, and you compete with other schools
  • FasTrak – toll payment (RFID)
  • MetroCard – deduct payment from card for subway
  • Citibank fab swipe
  • BART trials for cell phone deduction to ride train

Location Based:

  • 4Square – Please Rob me shows when people say they’re out.


  • Skiing – don’t want to take off your gloves to change track on iPod.
  • Add sensors to clothing for doing these types of things
  • Phillips has headphones that rotate to change or interact with tracks etc.
  • What about adding voice controls into clothing.
  • CuteCircuit has added sensors into clothing to vibrate your arm when you get a call.
  • Cycling safety – add turn signals to the back of clothing, controlled by the standard hand signals.

Augmented Reality

  • Ferrari uses this technology to mimic what a wheel can look like on a car.
  • Lego – hold up a box and show in front of display to see the actual built model (rotate move around)
  • SixthSense – wearable computer with projector to show data on any surface – interact with hands.

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