In Bratton’s reading he talks about apps and interfaces which for me opened up a whole new way of thinking about the apps that I use daily. He eloquently describes apps as
“The app is a thin membrane on top of a vast machine, but one which nevertheless allows its user to pilot (and be piloted by) that machine with the slightest gesture. The app is the intersection point between two far more complex reservoirs of intelligence: the intentional user and the Cloud infrastructure upon which the little app is perched.”
In particular the example he uses of his young son discovering the remote that turns a light on and off was a simple yet effective way of explaining interfaces. Bratton explains “that any effective tool has some “interfacial” capacities in that transforms, encodes, or transmits some worldly dynamic in specific ways.” (Bratton, 2014). Ofcourse a interface that is disconnected from any relay has no interfactial power. Bratton explains that an interface is only useful if it has output and input which is particularly true if it is connected to a system via wire/ bluetooth / wifi. Also the user of the interface requires some knowledge of how to use it in order for the interface to be used to its full potential. So how are people creating new ways to use interfaces to better the world. Two college students , Navid Azodi and Thomas Pryor, have recently invented gloves called ‘signAloud’ that translate sign language into spoken word allowing the deaf and mute community the opportunity to communicate to the broader community who may not understand sign language.
Virtual reality is another technology that is fascinating and something that will be very interesting to observe as the technology is developed in years to come. Virtual reality described as a multi sensory experience that allows users to experiences worlds real or imagined from the comfort of their lounge. Although it is well-known that many gamers are excited about the potential developments to enhance their gaming experience I personally am more interested in how developing virtual reality technology can help disabled and mentally ill communities. There are vast amounts of the community who have trouble taking a trip to the local shopping centre let alone taking trips to overseas destinations. In the near future it will be great to see how virtual reality will be able to give people suffering from disability experiences to travel the world from their wheel chair. Also in last weeks tutorial the class discusses game ideas that would be beneficial in someway. This got me thinking about how virtual reality and gaming experiences could help the broader community understand minority communities such as those suffering with autism. Autism is hard to understand if you or a loved one doesn’t suffer from it and it can be difficult to know how to react appropriately to people suffering from autism. Virtual reality could help people immerse themselves into a world of Autism. That is to say when using the head mounted display they could experience daily situations how someone with Austism would deal with it. I guess what I am saying is the that I am excited to see where the future of virtual reality and interfaces technology is heading and how it will be able to help people in need.
Below is a video of how virtual reality is currently helping hospital patients. It’s great to see technology such as virtual reality being developed not only for gamers but for hospital patients. Being in a hospital for a short stint last year I can value and appreciate this form of technology and how it would enhance a patients time in hopspital.
Anon, 2016. UW Students Create Gloves Which Translate Sign Language into Spoken English – Breitbart. [online] Breitbart. Available at: <http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/04/26/uw-students-create-gloves-which-translate-sign-language-into-spoken-english/> [Accessed 30 Apr. 2016].
Bratton, Benjamin (2014) ‘On Apps and Elementary Forms of Interfacial Life: Object, Image, Superimposition’, Bratton.info, December, <http://www.bratton.info/projects/texts/on-apps-and-elementary-forms-of-interfacial-life/>
Davies, Char (2004) ‘Virtual Space’, immersence.com, <http://www.immersence.com/publications/char/2004-CD-Space.html> (a great essay by one of the pioneers of VR art) [originally published in Space: In Science, Art and Society, François Penz, Gregory Radick and Robert Howell, eds. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press (2004): 69-104]
Dourish, Paul (2004) ‘A History of Interaction’, in Where the Action Is: The Foundations of Embodied Interaction, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press: 1-23.