Monday, August 16, 2010

Gesture and Object Based Technology

Dr. David Merrill, co-founder and president of Sifteo, was the first keynote at Alberta Education's Emerge Conference 2010 in Banff, Alberta.

Powerful Ideas David shared:

Key idea: it can take TIME to refine and improve how we use a powerful technology.
- Computer Mouse - a great idea that lasted over 40 years, from Englebart's (1968) original mouse, to the iMac mouse (1995), and latest wireless and gesture mice. Supports a range of interactions, and is also limited.
- Theremin (1928), gesture controlled pitch and volume, to O'Modhrain (2000), Stanford, who explored haptic feedback to increase playability of the Theremin, to the Wii (2006), to the Ocarina (2010), and the iPhone that supports multi-touch.
 - Videogames, Damien Lopez (2008) worked on a taxonomy of game controllers, and the types of interaction they support.

Key idea: Why our tools matter: they are objects that help us to think (Draws upon Seymour Papert's seminal work on "objects to think with"). Trying many alternatives with a minimum of effort increases our good solutions and enables us to explore problems more fully.
- Rapid prototyping, Experimentation, expression
- Access to tools matters - anytime access allows us to try more possibilities, to rethink the problems themselves

Key idea: Siftables:  Play, Learn, Create
- Key advances: multiperson, more mobile, 3D spatial, 2-handed all fingers bodily interaction, tangible: cognitively beneficial
- Object-based, gesture-based interaction with computers

David Merrill's TedTalk - demonstration of Siftables.

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