Work in progress: an explorative interaction design project.
00. Introduction (this page)
01. A sketch using a conductive top edge
01b. The idea of a pressure-sensitive book
02. A sketch using circuits on the pages
04. (Limited) success by measuring light absorption
Video snapshot of project highlights, Feb 2015
Reflection: Creating palpable materials as a design strategy
Books are significant objects of our culture, and they are capable in a very direct sense: For thousands of years, they have been capable of carrying knowledge and wisdom, conveying ideals and opinions, influencing thought and action.
Still, the more recent innovations of digital media have introduced considerable temptations in trying to go beyond the static form of ink on paper, to augment print media with the more dynamic and malleable forms of the digital. It is not a coincidence that one of the first demos made for the groundbreaking augmented reality system Chameleon in the early 1990s was a library browser where superimposed digital information showed the way to a sought-for book and provided suggestions for related books. Nor is it a coincidence that overlaid book metadata was an important part of the demo when Sixth Sense, the first consumer-grade augmented reality system, was presented to a general-interest audience in 2009. It is clearly tempting to experiment with augmenting books; to create more capable books, as it were.
A common approach today is to print QR codes on book pages to provide the portals into digital media spaces. This, though, requires the juggling of a smart phone or tablet to activate the connection. The Sony Wonderbook is an example of a book-shaped controller for PS3 where 3D graphics are shown on screen overlaid the video of the user's hands and the controller. These approaches, much like the augmented reality systems illustrated above, tend to foreground the digital.
My interest lies in another direction, where the physical book remains at center stage and the digital is more backgrounded, more ambient. And the way I hope to do that is by combining classical bookbinding with physical computing.