A Few of my Favorite Things…

…at least, my favorite examples of physical computing.

Durrell Bishop’s Marble Answering Machine – A really nice example of using tangible elements not only as memory tokens, but as physical interface. This image has been quoted in many different papers on the web, but curiously, I couldn’t find a link to Durrell’s own version of it. This one comes from a link on Sriam Subramaniam’s homepage, but I think they may have gotten it from Rachel Abrams’ paper.

Toshio Iwai’sPiano – As Image Media – The interaction is quite simple, and even traditional, in computer interface terms (a trackball), but the effect is beautiful.

Tad Hirsch’s TripWire – I love the fact that it’s relevant to the city it was designed for, and attempts to address real political issues in that town with just the right level of seriousness and humor.

Maywa Denki‘s BitMan – The behavior seems entirely natural when you play with it, as the little man moves from one side to the next as you rotate the object. The quality of the animation, despite the low resolution, is what makes it work so well for me. They pack so much character into very few bits. Scott McCloud would be proud of them.

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