Reboot 9/Day 2: Questioning the Unquestionable

After hearing Stowe Boyd’s remarkable talk, and failing miserably to concentrate on Marko Ahtisaari’s talk, I needed a break. Judging by the number of folks sitting in the garden missing talks, this seems to be standard practice at reboot.

Refreshed, I headed back in to hear the “New Interaction Rituals” talk by Julian Bleecker, which was, well, ok. He spent a great deal of time explaining the historical foundation of his research–human/machine interfaces from the typewriter up to today–which was in a way interesting, but only half as interesting as the experiments these thoughts led him to make. Games such as “Mob Zombies“, where all players run around in a room together (in meatspace) with gadgets in their hands, and their real world movements control the movement of their character on the gadget’s screen.

Or the very impractical but amusing idea of an SMS gadget which only shows one character at a time and forces the user to move to see the entire message. A short, trivial message might only require a stroll to the shops, but a long declaration of love might require a 4 mile hike. In a world where keyboards and mice are accepted and rarely questioned, I was pleased to see that someone’s thinking outside the cubicle. Tip for Mr. Bleecker: next year, compress the intro and get on to the gadgets.