This process of conversation cycles back and forth, as an iterative process in which each participant in turn listens, thinks, and speaks
As the Chinese proverb says, “I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand.”
These are a few quotes which stood out to me from the readings. If there is one thing that is clear about Physical Interaction, it is that many people define it in different ways based on the Bret Victor’s rant & Chris Crawford’s “The Art of Interactive Design”. However, what did resonate with me is that “physical interaction” must meet three basic components when two actors engage with each other. The three components are: listening, thinking, and speaking.
Let me dissect this further by breaking the phrase ‘Physical Interaction’ down by each word. ‘Physical’ by definition here is descriptive of something taking place in the present tense and within close proximity. ‘Interaction’ by definition is descriptive of some exchange happening between two people or actors. When two people (or objects?) interact, the ideal result is something that is engaging for both parties.
Good physical interaction takes place when all three components are met. Arguably having two of the three components available may yield a physical interaction, but then it’s fair to say the experience isn’t great. Crawford best illustrates this when he describes having a simple human conversation. Let’s use going on a first date as an example. It would be dreadful to be on a date with someone who doesn’t listen, think, let alone speak. It’s safe to say if this happened to me, a second date would not be happening.
Are there works from others that you would say are good examples of digital technology that are not interactive?
This is actually quite tough for me to explore with examples. However, one that comes to mind are future smart cars. It’s unquestionable that modern cars today like a Tesla can listen, think, and speak better than cars from previous generations. Tesla’s can listen for a request from an owner to autonomously meet you outside already turned on with the heater or a/c. Tesla’s can think to see if there are updates available for download. Tesla’s can even speak (read: notify) an owner should there be a technical issue that needs to be reviewed.
I’m using this example because I see this interactivity breakdown based on where the communication originates; it’s always from the owner. The Tesla owner is typically the one always engaging with the other actor on all three aspects.
Then again, I could be wrong since I’m not a Tesla owner. I’ll come back to this question when I have a better answer.