Reading 1

Natural Interfaces are not Natural, Don Norman

I had begun noticing what Norman would consider NUIs when the Nintendo Wii first came out, the experience was quite different from what I thought human/machine interactions would be. But it wasn’t until the appearance of the XBOX 360 that I started thinking about the new possibilities that these new interfaces were presenting.

At the time, I was still in my undergraduate program (animation) and was thinking about creating an interactive performance space that could generate graphics and sound (only to find out later that many have “been there, done that”). Because I wanted to focus on the therapeutic and meditative aspect of body motion and abstract audiovisual experience, I didn’t want to use the cumbersome motion capture suits that were introduced to us in class. My other option was using a camera capture set up which was very expensive and inaccurate if you wanted to do more detailed movements of joints, or group capture where overlap may occur. The interaction that the XBOX 360 advanced confirmed that such technologies were becoming more and more accessible, affordable and powerful. But due to my limited knowledge and understanding of the emerging technologies, it was hard for me to envision the design process and further realize my idea.

This article is interesting in the way that it emphasizes the complex thought process behind each seemingly natural interface (musical instruments, GUIs, etc.) that we have become so accustomed to. For me, the design process becomes more tangible, and I begin to have a sense of areas I can start looking into for further understanding.

I am hoping to read more about the conceptual and design process of NUIs, GUIs and musical instruments (the mechanics of musical instruments can be so fascinating and creative).

Great Wall of Facebook- The Social Network’s Plan to Dominate the Internet — and Keep Google Out, Fred Vogelstein

The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You, Eli Pariser

Last weekend I picked up a copy of Eli Pariser’s The Filter Bubble. Although there’s been critique on the book’s view of the personalization of social network and social media sites (one reader placed Pariser in the same “Internet pessimists” category along with authors like Jaron Lanier, Andrew Keen, Lee Siegel, and Nicholas Carr.), I still found the author’s point of view interesting and worth considering.

Since the beginning of its existence, the Internet has always been seen as a platform of new possibilities and opportunities. But with the increasing use of personalized systems online, the extent of our cyber vision becomes questionable. Are we really in control of what information we take in? Are we really presented with more choices? or are we instead put into little niches that the algorithm has constructed for us? Personalization seems to emphasize the individual and his or her unique characteristics, but at the same time, does it turn us into cliche’s?

Your Art Not a Gadget, Jaron Lanier

“I want to say: You have to be somebody, before you can share yourself.”

This was my favorite quote from the section.