So this is the fated first post, the one most blogs begin and end with. To avoid this phenomenon, I’ve already written my second post!
I decided to start this blog to post interesting articles and innovations in the area of Ubiquitous Computing, Human Computer Interaction and Embedded Systems in general. I’m interested in how humans use computers and how we can design better products to make this interaction seamless, enjoyable and useful. Computers are everywhere these days, but I especially like the ones that become a part of our lives without our necessarily paying attention to them.
Attention Suckers Suck!
We’ve all had the experience of being at a party and suddenly it seems everyone is playing Words with Friends or texting somebody else, and it’s not a party anymore. I go home every evening and hate that I’m either in front of a computer screen or a TV screen, both of which completely consume my attention. Sometimes, I get my laptop out in front of the TV, so I can be doubly totally consumed.
On the other end of the spectrum, I just found this simple app on my cellphone (Silent Time Lite) that silences the ringer right before my weekly classes and turns it on right after. If that’s not a huge mental load to you, lucky you – it’s just this sort of simple thing that my brain refuses to handle. But once I configure this app for the semester, I’m done! I don’t have to worry about my phone going off in class, or about missing phone calls or messages for the rest of the day. That’s just the kind of seamless usefulness I find compelling.
I think we are finally reaching a point where we can have many little computers and sensors in our environment that are able to augment our experience. Our cellphones are a great example but as mentioned above, they are quite the attention-seeking little divas. In the future, unique embedded products will be able to intelligently interact with us, without becoming a chore, or taking our attention away from real life. I’m hoping to search for such products and research and post some interesting stuff on this blog.