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Affordable experiences

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Affordable experiences

Mr. Sharma is a retired govt. services employee and lives next to my house. He loves to explore new places in the city and mostly rely on his friend circle or local newspaper for information. He recently decided to buy a smart phone as he was told that Google has all the information and it is much easier to explore places on internet. The happy moment was soon over. He was overwhelmed with the learning curve.He couldn’t understand why he needs to open a “browser” or an “app” to search for information. If that was not enough he was told to learn “tap”, “zoom”, “scrolling” to see even the first result.

There are way too many Mr. Sharma out there. In India the literal digital literacy is around mere 7%. There is clear digital divide leading to non equal distribution of benefits and resources. The current HCI (human computer interaction) has worked well but needs to be re-looked at if we have to connect the last billion on the planet.

“Is there a better way to interact with systems that is natural and ubiquitous instead of forced?”

The answer lies in the new trend where computation power is merging with physical world.We need affordable experiences that doesn’t requires any manual  and leverages daily object for interaction and exploration.

We choose to use table as a medium to create an experience that requires no prior knowledge of keyboard and mouse. To illustrate the idea we choose to simulate Google search but the table as platform can be leveraged in many situations.

The installation mimics the real world, a father teaches his child meaning of car by repeatedly pointing it out and making car sound, he thus learns new objects and their meaning. Similarly table environment is trained to recognize world objects using machine vision and machine learning. Contextual information is then attached to each learned object.

We have demonstrated this installation at multiple events and all the places people were able to use it without any explanation.

By going beyond screens and tapping into other human senses the interactions becomes available to people with special abilities as well. There is no doubt that future of experience is natural.