Physical + Virtual = SUI

If you have agreed to test my SUI Cube prototype, please DO NOT continue to read this blog! …until after you have been interviewed.

I am in the middle of writing, pure thick thesis writing! It is much more difficult than it sounds.

“Why a SUI?” A question I am asked often, and have always felt I could never give a good answer to. I feel I am closer now.

All of the examples that I have documented on this site so far have included two elements: physicality and virtuality. There has been a physical element, typically in the form of a button, that provided access to an interface or functionality. There has also been a virtual element, typically in the form of a touch-sensitive surface, that provided access to another interface or set of functions. Even though many of my examples have been determined NOT to be a SUI, they have all included these two elements which made them a consideration to begin with.

My SUI Cube prototype takes these two elements to create a simple abstraction of the concept…

The physical element is the one-button, 2-state, press down, interface. A person can press the button down, and when they remove pressure, the button pops back up. There is a physical displacement of finger position when using the button.

The virtual element is the touch-sensitive surface of the button. For my prototype it is possible to see the touch-sensitive area, but in most occasions, “touch sensitivity” is invisible. You can not see the touch sensing on an iPhone, for example. Depending on design and technology, this touch-sensitive layer in the cube could be programmed for a wide range of functionality and interaction. My prototype only has a single touch capability. What if multiple touch points could be detected? If I had more time I would consider testing these ideas. If I sewed multiple independent threads on the surface, I could detect movement, direction, and speed of my finger moving across the top. This would also offer the possibility of creating gestures! The number of interactions and programmable actions with just a simple touch-sensitive button could be limitless!

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