The problem and opportunity of invisibility

May 14, 2010 at 02:53 2 comments

This video is about exploring the spatial qualities of RFID, visualised through an RFID probe, long exposure photography and animation. It features Timo Arnall of the Touch project and Jack Schulze of BERG.

Nearness explores interacting without touching, same authors.

RFID is still badly understood as an interactive technology. Many aspects of RFID interaction are fundamentally invisible; as users we experience two objects communicating through the ‘magic’ of radio waves. This invisibility is also key to the controversial aspects of RFID technology; once RFID antennas are hidden inside products or in environments, they can be invoked or initiated without explicit knowledge or permission. (See here for more on the invisibility of radio.)
But invisibility also offers opportunities: the lack of touch is an enormous usability and efficiency leap for many systems we interact with everyday (hence the success of Oyster, Suica and Octopus cards). But there is also the ‘magic’ of nearness one of the most compelling experiential aspects of RFID.
As designers we took this invisibility as a challenge. We needed to know more about the way that RFID technology inhabits space so that we could better understand the kinds of interactions that can be built with it and the ways it can be used effectively and playfully inside physical products.

Entry filed under: Related Projects.

Apply the light behavior to real (hacked) devices or build a light synth box? Seeing radio waves with a light bulb (Diana Eng)

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kevin Cannon  |  May 14, 2010 at 14:29

    There’s a great talk from the IxD10 conference exploring similar ideas. The key bit is about half way through, but it’s all about how public spaces and architecture are being transformed by technology like wifi.

    • 2. alice pintus  |  May 17, 2010 at 05:18

      Thank you!!!


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