Sunday, July 8, 2007


Fida is a product that serves as a trigger for communication in situations where there are barriers to communicate directly, for example when you want to tell somebody that you like that person. You can record a personal voice message, add a dynamic expression to it with colored light, and leave the object in a place where the other person will find it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Hidden dangers of ambient intelligence

This illustration shows my feelings for the development of ambient intelligence; our world more and more becomes filled with technology, which in this century will more and more start interconnecting, forming one global artificially intelligent organism, maintaining humanity's behavior in a sense. I truly believe that electronical organisms will arise that are in a way much more intelligent than people, can have feelings and even become 'evil', as many would call it. I do not think this is a bad development, but one necessary if humanity wants to ensure a sustainable interaction with the universe, which will especially in this century be a challenging task! We just need to cooperate with technology, and perhaps even evolve beyond our carbon-based bodies (hello genetic engineering!). In case you did not notice: I am a technologist, not a humanist.


In this project a team of 5 students, including me, created five interactive prototypes of vending machines that offer the user a walnut in an emotionally expressive way.

Why emotion? Emotional intelligence is essential in our social communication and decision-making processes. Current vending machines totally lack this and can be very frustrating to interact with when for example, we have to bow to them to reach for the product we just bought. Future products need to anticipate and adapt to user's wishes and act according to them. One way to do this is to behave in an emotional way.

When you approach Phunx, it detects you and starts to wiggle happily, since you are a potential customer. As you come closer he starts an enthusiastic dance, throws out the nut and goes back to sleep.

Nuzzle; an interactive hospital experience for children

Nuzzle is an object that helps children through a stressful hospital experience by providing them a way to escape from reality into the interactive world of a virtual character, who gradually also teaches children about the hospital. This is a concept we sent in for the Microsoft Design Expo 2007. (more)

HappyZap: the Start of Social Zapping

This animated scenario shows a concept for a device that facilitates a social way of controlling the television. Instead of a physical struggle, the hunt for control happens on a virtual level with HappyZap!

Luxalive; human values in interaction

Products should start to move!

This is a prototype of a reading lamp that moves according to the values an individual strives for. For example, when you like to be dominant, the lamp will follow you like a slave. And when you like to help others, the lamp will not work well and ask you to help him to stay upright.

It is part of a research project that is aimed at finding out how to design for specific human values in interaction to make interactions with products aesthetically more valuable.

The lower movie shows parts of my design process: making quick interactive prototypes from LEGOs connected to Phidgets and Max/MSP on a laptop. A great method!

Multimodal interaction idea for wearable digital pet

This is a exploration showing how people could interact with a Tamagotchi-like device, using, apart from the visual, also the tactile sense and interacting in a more implicit and natural way, instead of pushing coded buttons. This first prototype was designed and built in three days.

Romanticism movement collage

For capturing essential elements from the esthetics of the era of Romanticism, this video was compiled from various sources, like the Tchaikovski's Swan Lake ballet.

Dentissimo; expressive interaction with a toothbrush

Currently, Western culture tries to maximize profit. Efficiency is highly valued, which is reflected in our current interactive products. But the world cannot function like a logical machine, it is way too complex to be controlled like that. In my vision, the notion of esthetics needs to be emphasized more throughout not only the form of our environment, but also our interactions and behavior as a whole. This toothbrush is an early example, showing how elements derived from classical music can be translated into interactive products.


Aesthetics of interaction; interaction collage

Filming interactions with everyday objects as a starting point for translating the aesthetics of a classical music piece to interactions with interactive products. Check the movie.