Implicit Interaction

Creating a new interface model for the Internet of Things

implicit [ɪmˈplɪs.ɪt] adjective
1. suggested without being directly expressed
2. forming part of something (although perhaps not directly expressed)

Smart materials and related autonomous technologies offer the potential to automate and hide much of the tedium of our everyday lives: logistics, transportation, electricity consumption in our homes, connectivity, or the management of autonomous systems such as robot vacuum cleaners. Combined with the growth in ubiquitous- and IoT-based systems there is now the opportunity to make significant improvements in how technology benefits everyday life. Yet existing systems are beset with manifest human interaction problems . The fridge warns you with a beep if you leave the door open, the washing machine signals when it is finished, or even chainsaws now warns you when you have been using them for too long. Each individual system has been designed with a particular, limited, interaction model: the smart lighting system in your apartment has not been designed for the sharing economy, the lawn mower robot might run off and leave your garden. Different parts of your entertainment system turn the volume up and down and fail to work together. Each smart object comes with its own form of interaction, its own mobile app, its own upgrade requirements and its own manner of calling for users’ attention. Interaction models have been inherited from the desktop-metaphor, and sometimes mobile interaction have their own apps that use non-standardised, icons, sounds or notification frameworks. When put together, the current forms of smart technology do not blend, they cannot interface one-another, and most importantly, as end-users we have to learn how to interact with them each time, one by one.

In some senses this is like personal computing before the desktop metaphor, the Internet before the web, or mobile computing before touch interfaces. In short, IoT lacks its killer interface paradigm. That is what this project aims to design.