Touch. Or sight, smell, taste

The dominant metaphor for RFID interaction is touch where the gesture of touching or the contact between two objects is seen as a suitable model for near field interactions. However touch may be a limiting metaphor for RFID interfaces, in that it doesn’t suggest the possible range of interactions that RFID affords.

Three recent Touch projects suggest different senses as metaphors for physical RFID interaction:

Silje Søftings Pling Plong project uses an eye as the ‘reader’ of audiobook tokens.

Starting playing

Bilal Chaudhry & Marius Johansen’s project Le Chef uses a huge tongue giving the appearance that the chef character is tasting the food tokens that are placed on it.

06 February, 12.02

Sara Johansson’s Sniff project uses the nose of a toy dog as the reader, giving the impression that the dog is sniffing token objects.

Sniff RFID reading dog

Are these other human senses more successful than touch in creating the right kind of metaphors for RFID interaction? Can we use human senses as metaphors to create a richer design space for RFID, or does the inspiration have to come from somewhere else?

Related things:

  1. Re/Touch: Inspiring touch-related interaction design One of the things that social and cultural research on touch attempts to grapple with is everything people are supposed to touch and not supposed to touch—and what we actually end up touching or......
  2. Touch as interaction medium This is a design brief, one of many themes that the Touch project is investigating. In London, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong and elsewhere the ‘swipe’ or ‘tap’ is already a common interaction for paying......
  3. Images of touch interfaces I’m happy to say that with great contributions from Nicolas Nova, Matt Jones and many others, the pool of images of ‘touch interfaces’ on Flickr is growing nicely. I originally asked for contributions in......
  4. Teaching Touch II For the second year we are teaching an MA interaction design course called Tangible Interactions that is driven by the Touch project at AHO. Last year the course was largely successful both for students......
  5. Norwegian Design Council awards Sniff Sniff has won the prize for Design for All at Unge Talenter 2008 (Young Talent 2008) from the Norwegian Design Council. The project is acclaimed for its inclusive design that encourages playful activity, particularly......

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5 Trackbacks

  1. [...] Three recent Touch projects suggest different senses as metaphors for physical RFID interaction. [...]

  2. By Designing with RFID · Touch on 17 February 2009 at 20:22

    [...] qualities such as materials, shape, size, construction, manufacture, build quality, affordance or metaphors. But the potential for RFID in consumer products is significant, given the inexpensive hardware of [...]

  3. By Last Weeks bookmarks « Love to learn on 17 February 2009 at 21:09

    [...] Touch. Or sight, smell, taste · Touch [...]

  4. By Pling Plong · Touch on 11 March 2009 at 13:19

    [...] experiments with characterful faces for the pillow, showing some of the exploration of different metaphors for RFID that are important aspects of making contactless interaction understandable and [...]

  5. [...] Arnall ha appena pubblicato tre recenti progetti Touch che propongono diversi sensi come metafore per l’interazione RFID fisica.   [...]

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