One of the essential properties of Near Field Communication is nearness, but this is set against one of the paradoxes of touch-based interaction where, in fact, nothing needs to touch. In a very short film made with BERG, we explore nearness in interactive technologies.

Hat tip towards The way things go, that Honda commercial and Pythagora Switch.

Some photos.

Related things:

  1. ‘Nearness’ goes further Since the launch three weeks ago, our film Nearness has been seen almost 100,000 times, and favourited by over 500 people. Thanks for all the feedback and commentary! Creativity contacted us for a “Behind......
  2. Responses to ‘Nearness’ The broad response to the short film Nearness has been tremendous. In the two days since it was launched it has received over 55,000 views and has been covered all over the internet. It......
  3. Designing with film We’ve compiled a short sequence of some of the design experiments and tests in audiovisual media in the Touch project. Here we show some of the ‘behind the scenes’ tests and processes where we......
  4. Making radio tangible Next week we’re launching some new work that explores the spatial aspects of RFID. So before we publish that, here is a quick summary of existing work on radio, sensors and space that I’ve......
  5. 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......

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  1. Posted 15 September 2009 at 13:54 | Permalink

    Awesome stuff Timo! Really inspiring as always… :)

  2. Posted 16 September 2009 at 11:23 | Permalink

    wow! I really love it…

  3. stan wiechers
    Posted 16 September 2009 at 19:52 | Permalink

    nice one, now we need a full feature 90 minute version;)

  4. Yacoub
    Posted 18 September 2009 at 15:42 | Permalink

    How could u send txt msgs from phone and read them on the other phone?

27 Trackbacks

  1. By Tweets that mention Nearness -- on 15 September 2009 at 13:21

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by timo arnall. timo arnall said: New work: Nearness: [...]

  2. By Nearness « Adam Greenfield’s Speedbird on 15 September 2009 at 13:52

    [...] frisson is provided by Timo Arnall and Jack Schulze, who’ve between them put together this exquisite film illustrating near-field communication (NFC) interactions in the style of Weiss and Fischli’s [...]

  3. [...] neues vom Touch-Projekt. Mit Hilfe der RFID wurde eine Rube-Goldberg-Maschine entwickelt. Diese Art der Nonsense-Maschinen [...]

  4. By Nearness | Bootlog on 16 September 2009 at 11:22

    [...] via I Love Social BookmarkingSubscribeDiggdel.icio.usFacebookRedditStumbleUpon Tags: [...]

  5. [...] becoming antiquated. Why bother touching something when you can just almost touch something? The folks at, in conjunction with design consultancy BERG, designed the Rube Goldberg-like machine above in [...]

  6. By the heap: Just another WordPress weblog on 16 September 2009 at 21:56

    [...] Vimeo Nearness Nearness explores interacting without touching. More here and here Cast: timo, schulze Warning: [...]

  7. [...] Nearness, “explora la interacción sin contacto”. [...]

  8. By Nearness, interacción sin contacto : Blogografia on 17 September 2009 at 11:00

    [...] Nearness, “explora la interacción sin contacto”. [...]

  9. [...] + Info | Nearness [...]

  10. [...] from timo on Vimeo. Nearness, “explora la interacción sin [...]

  11. By Responses to ‘Nearness’ on 17 September 2009 at 20:23

    [...] Touch Interaction with RFID and NFC Skip to content HomeProjectsMediaPublicationsPeopleAbout & contact « Nearness [...]

  12. By Grad Project» Blog Archive » Nearness on 18 September 2009 at 5:34

    [...] Nearness. [...]

  13. [...] gewohnten Muster hinterfragen. Mit diesem Thema haben sich Timo Arnall und Jack Schulze für Touch beschäftigt. Unter anderem inspiriert von dem bekannten Toyota-Werbespot ist ein Clip [...]

  14. By Mobile networks « learn4kicks on 24 September 2009 at 8:21

    [...] RFID & NFC, RFID & interference,  RFID vs NFC project in Bath, a recent brilliant 2 min video on Nearness from Timo Arnall and Jack Schultz, from last [...]

  15. By Nearness « Physical Computing on 25 September 2009 at 16:06

    [...] pm Filed under: Inspiration Nearness is a project about interaction made by people at BERG and Touch . The project shows how interaction between objects can be done without touching each other. RFID [...]

  16. [...] has continually done some amazing things. One of the coolest things going right now is Nearness, a gorgeously shot experiment in interaction without [...]

  17. By socks-studio » Blog Archive » Nearness on 26 September 2009 at 12:58

    [...] 2009 Nearness Source: Nearness explores interacting without touching. More here and here     Rfid Rube Goldberg [...]

  18. [...] in the technology. Here we play with the problems of invisibility and the magic of being close. The Nearness By [...]

  19. By DATADAYLIFE » The Way Things Go on 27 September 2009 at 22:37

    [...] their Nearness project they put together a nice short video in collaboration with BERG which illustrates some of [...]

  20. By Immaterials: the ghost in the field on 12 October 2009 at 18:03

    [...] the success of Oyster, Suica and Octopus cards). But there is also the ‘magic’ of nearness one of the most compelling experiential aspects of [...]

  21. By Interacting without Touching | rekeeb on 25 October 2009 at 14:45

    [...] Webb, Availabot) and Touch (Timo Arnall et al) on near field communication and interactive objects. This article explains some of the thinking. Even more interesting are the responses on the film by others from [...]

  22. By Nearness | Bootlog on 21 December 2009 at 23:10

    [...] via [...]

  23. By The Way Things Go…Near Field Communication on 25 January 2010 at 20:52
  24. By Nearness « levlev . ideas that inspire me on 18 February 2010 at 18:18

    [...] nearfield swfobject.embedSWF("", "vvq-261-vimeo-1", "470", "300", "9", [...]

  25. By Mohammad Irshaid - Making radio tangible on 5 March 2010 at 22:05

    [...] is something we went on to explore in much more detail in the filmNearness, where the relationship between proximity and physical interaction is explored in [...]

  26. By The Nearness of Technology | STARWORKS on 11 March 2010 at 1:03

    [...] interaction” — where the irony is nothing needs to touch. Read more at Touch [...]

  27. By Designing with film on 6 April 2010 at 14:09

    [...] that map and visualise the interactive phenomena of RFID. Many of the visual/cinematic concepts for Nearness and Immaterials were invented by exploring and experimenting with [...]

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