1. 500 words about the journal “Emotion on the Road”
The main purpose of this article is to discuss the main research development in automobiles in the near future regarding driver assistance and natural driver-car communication. It provides an overview on work related to influence many aspects of car use such as comfort, automatic recognition, and improvement of in-car interfaces through the use of case scenarios.
The key question in which the author is addressing is whether or not the incorporation of computers in cars are necessary, affective and feasible in current situations.
The most important information in this article is that interacting with different (non primary) functions of the car whilst driving can be distracting to the driver and hence dangerous. This can be counteracted by computers sensing different moods the driver is in and delaying certain functions. New interactions for automobiles are tested thoroughly in order to determine the difficulty of operation in certain driving conditions and scenarios. Emotions are the key issue in general human computer interaction and also in the in-car communication. Looking at the short and long term memories of the driver or occupants of the vehicle is also important for the technology being implemented in vehicles, testing this can help to possibly predict the drivers state based on driving and head tracking. The technology included in cars is very much user driven. The person driving the car may want a certain interaction to make their job a little bit easier. If there are enough requests for this and it can be safely implemented after testing it with a high fidelity prototype, the chances of it going into production are very high. The interactions need to ensure they work with the driver and not against as this could lead to frustration and hence possible danger. The interfaces definitely influence the driver and passengers emotional states. Angry drivers can be calmed down. Tired drivers can be prevented from falling asleep at the wheel. Confused drivers or drivers unaware of oncoming obstructions can be warned in advance and can then plan a different route. For a system to be accepted by the user, it is widely accepted that the user should be able to have full control over the technology and be able to turn it off or mute it at any time they want. This would make the user feel more comfortable in the car because they would feel that they had complete control of it.
The key secondary sources consist mainly of journals looking at both driving in general but also the psychological mindset behind both driving and operating computers such as Accident Analysis and Prevention and Proceedings of the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’05). Both texts would be useful to look into further. A multitude of texts relating to artificial intelligence, speech, signals and robotics are also present but not in the same sort of numbers as that of the others mentioned previously.
There does not appear to be many if at any primary resources in the article. At the start of the paper, it stated that it was a giving an extensive literary overview, suggesting that most of the research done on the paper was secondary research.
If we were to ignore what the author is saying in the article about the increasing technologies in cars and safety, the world may very well become a much more dangerous place, especially on the roads. Everyone needs to pay attention and only use the technology when it is safe to do so.
2. 500 words about “Futures and Alternative Nows” from “Designing Interactions”
The main purpose of this article is discussing the futures of interactions, or as the article states, alternative nows. It interviews a number of current designers and they give examples of products or projects they like or have had a role in producing.
The author is addressing the question of what the future holds for interaction design, and pitching that towards designers such as Tony Dunne and Fiona Raby. The main point which is put across in the interview with Dunne and Raby is that it is not necessarily futures that people think about when discussing the future of interaction design or design in general, but the alternative nows, in other words, what would happen to a product such as a television if we had different values.
The research done in this article is almost all primary research. Bill Moggridge, when writing this book, went out and interviewed all of the designers himself to gauge their opinion of the topic(s) which were being discussed. Secondary research would have been carried out by the designers for the pieces they talked about such as John Maeda talking about some of the projects he carried out at MIT.
Maeda hints at the notion that designing for the future takes a lot of planning well in advance and uses Apple as an example. He states that when Apple launched the iDisk, he thought they were making a wrong move because no one would use information servers, which are used to store peoples personal data, an idea or service commonly referred to as the cloud today, but without the planning of iDisk, Apples later offerings of services such as iTunes would not have been successful as they have been.
Another point which Maeda states is that technology doesn’t necessarily make things better for the user. When he went to do product design in Japan in 1991, there were not computers and if he made a mistake he couldn’t easily undo it so it made him a better designer.
The final designer interviewed was Jun Rekimoto, who works on the interfaces of the future working in the Interaction Laboratory in Sony. One of the first things he worked on at Sony and the thing which is one of the most interesting for the future, is Augmented reality. This area of technology is making steps forward all the time and it is only a matter of time before it is more commonly used.
Rekimoto talks about gestural interfaces, and how they are likely to become the most preferred form of input in computing. Products such as the iPhone or iPad are key examples of this with their pinch to zoom and swipe to scroll gestures already being used on millions of products worldwide. He finishes with the opinion that in the future, or near future as he puts it, everyone will carry some sort of sensor which carries all of the users personal preferences and messages, making it easier for them to sit down at another computer rather than their own and carry on with their work, or have all of their data right there in front of them.
Due to the nature of this topic discussing the future of interaction design, there aren’t any implications of what would happen if we were to ignore the author. Everything that is being said about the future is still speculation as no one is able to predict the future, only make paths towards a certain future.