Tangible interaction

I'm looking at this from the perspctive of someone who wants to interact with a mobile phone. In a wider sense you could call this tangible interaction but actually it's more about performing gestures with the mobile phone. Gesture interaction is a nice thing to have especially when you are mobile and have to interact with an auditory interface. The WIMP paradigm (Window, Icon, Menu, Pointing device) works fine on the desktop, but not so well when you are actually moving and only have a small screen.

What's really thrilling about this is that there's no standard yet. On the desktop your chances to encounter the WIMP are very high, but mobile ... ? Some have tried styli, some use touch and multi-touch interaction (meaning that you can use your finger as an input device), like the iPhone, the Android or some of the Nokia Phones. You even find little joysticks on some phones (like the Samsung SCH V960 (optical) or the Nokia N73 (physical)).

But neither of them will work with an auditory interface (well, the joystick might). They all have in common that they require a visual target - like a button or a text link. However, in an auditory interface you only have sound. There's no "target" in that sense any more. In some ways auditory interfaces have more in common with visual threedimensional interfaces. One could argue that because of the spatiality the interaction with/in these interfaces resembles more of how we interact with objects in our daily life: we grasp, we pick up, we use our hands and our body to navigate.

Take a look at how I've used gestures so far. But still working on this - more to come soon!

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