Inspirational BitsResult under "Method Development and Transfer"
Inspirational bits are, as the name suggests, small, inspirational investigations of specific technologies with the intent of exposing and making dynamic properties tangible, visible, and ultimately understandable for members of a design team. These bits were given the form of small games that allow design teams to explore and experience properties of technologies in an easy to grasp and playful manner. The incentives people have to understand the rules of a game will also be helpful in exploring technological limitations and properties, spurring them to understand them. For example, in the ‘BluePete’-game, a digital entity utilizes BlueTooth connections to jump from device to device. Users that have Pete on their device should try to pass ‘him’ on to other devices by getting close to them. The game illustrates BlueTooth’s inability to search for devices and listen for incoming connections at the same time.
The inspirational bits method starts out from the challenge that in designing for bodily interaction it is difficult to conceptualise how the kind of bodily and emotional sensations we were aiming for are going to feel. We need ways to explore how they will actually be experienced in the digital material. We explored this by giving engineers more time to both understand the properties of the digital material, and to work out ways for communicating this knowledge to the others in the design team. Thereby we approach the digital material in similar ways to how we approach other materials, such as plastic and wood, as design materials. This focus on material issues pinpoints how interactive systems design also need to approach technology as a design material, and to make it available to all members in a multidisciplinary team.
Photo: John Paul Bichard