Touch project PhD researcher Kjetil Nordby has just published two journal articles on interactions with RFID and NFC. These articles pull together concepts from ubiquitous computing and HCI, integrated with high-level interaction design practice, alongside analysis from activity theory, and come up with novel theories for the field of design research.
In the Journal of Personal and Ubiquitous Computing the article Multi-field relations in designing for short-range RFID analyses some of the conceptual foundations for multi-field inputs with RFID enabled artifacts:
“Multi-field inputs are techniques driven by multiple short-range RFID-enabled artifacts like RFID-tags and RFID-tag readers. The technology is useful for designers so as to enable the construction of advanced interaction through the physical world. To take advantage of such opportunities, it is important to understand the technology in terms of what interactions it might offer designers. I address this issue by unwrapping and exposing elements that can be used to conceptualize multi-field interactions. This is done by way of a design driven inquiry in which design and research methods are used to investigate short-range RFID technology. My approach is informed by activity theory which I use to analyze RFID technology from a design perspective. The study presents multi-field relations as a conceptual framework that can be used to describe and generate multi-field inputs. Four types of multi-field relations are discussed: one-way, two-way, sequence and multiple relations. These are described and analyzed in context of a set of multi-field input examples. The multi-field relations expose elements that can be used to construct interactions. This is important for interaction designers, since new interactions presents designers with opportunities for making entirely new types of interfaces that can lead to interesting and surprising experiences.”
In the International Journal of Design the article Conceptual Designing and Technology: Short-Range RFID as Design Material unpacks RFID—or fields—as design material, and looks at designers motives around emerging technologies:
“Short-Range Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is an emerging technology that interaction designers are currently embracing. There are, however, few systematic efforts to utilize the technology as a tool for the development of new design concepts. This article focuses on technology as a design material and its role in the formative process of conceptual design. My approach involves the use of activity theory and the concept of motives, used to analyze short-range RFID technology when considering the field of design. I employ practice-based research where qualitative design and research methods are used to scrutinize the use of this technology in design. A design material perspective frames the short-range RFID technology as a composite consisting of near-fields and the computational. This material is coined near-field material and is further described through six form-making qualities: Tap and Hold, Multi-Field Relations, Multi-Field Distribution, Field Shape, Context Sharing and Mediation Type. I propose that the near-field material and thus the six form-making qualities cited above, offer designers engaged in creating user-oriented experiences, a morphology of form types. I argue that by synthesizing and analyzing emerging technology in relation to designers’ motives for using them, we may further support research and practice by placing technology inside design discourse and culture.”
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