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September 21, 2005

Play-Doh as Interface


Fuzziness in a World of 1s and 0s

"Analog control of digital devices and media has always appealed to [Brendan Dawes]. Like the controllers for a PS2, they allow degrees of fuzziness in a world made of very strict ones and zeroes. Life is not black and white, so for deeper interactive experiences we need to look at control devices that allow our analog thinking brains to influence and control this digital world.

Play-Doh is a fantastic analog material. It’s the total opposite of the ones and zeroes paradigm. So I took the idea of exploring Play-Doh as a fuzzy interface, looking at various ways to use this tactial, fun “interface” and use it to control digital media. In this example the amount of Play-Doh on screen dictates how fast the film plays. The amount of Play-Doh on screen dictates the speed of the film.

As I twist the Play-Doh and take bits away, the film reacts accordingly in real-time. Add too much Play-Doh and the film rapidly speeds up. An intimate connection is made between the user and the media. Every action has a reaction in the digital space. No scary buttons to press. No instructions to read. It’s just Play-Doh."

Posted by jo at September 21, 2005 05:30 PM