Physical interaction is call and response. Good physical interaction is immediate call and response. But what kind of response should we now expect from our computing devices? We seem quite satisfied with flat, shiny rectangles with graphics that slide up and down. We are really excited for devices that can share our software and information over wireless networks. We seem really attached to screens and monopolies. I hope the next wave of innovative consumer electronics is a break from screens and [possible employer].
What is next? What do we need? Who are we? Are the students and professionals who write and think about this stuff including people who can't see? Who can't hear? After reading his essay, I watched Bret Victor's speech at DBX. I am now really thinking hard about his last lines. To paraphrase, many of the current interface systems we use today were developed and prototyped during the 1960s because engineers were able to imagine any and everything since there had been nothing.
If physical interaction is call and response, I am not sure if our dominant systems are interactive at all. That's okay, I guess. It is only 2013. Firefox is probably my favorite piece of software on my computer. My Firefox browser is not interactive, though. I make GET requests and get pages and that is it. Sometimes it asks if I want to save a password or block a popup. But our conversation hasn't progressed, really. Restoring previous session was a good step forward in our relationship.