First Look: Magic Wand from Ms. Pamela on Vimeo.

Magic Wand

The ubiquity of screens and screen-based interactions prevail in the Internet of Things, or connect devices and appliances, and along with it the notion of pervasive general-purpose computing. The computational power of in a single smart phone could out-perform the original IBM supercomputers. While this performance gain is a boon for the interconnected world, it laid a profound pitfall for the user’s experience of connected devices.

The tendency today is to make all Things general purpose computers— more smart phone-like. The problem with the smart Thing is its desire to be completely useful renders it utterly useless. Today’s smart Thing isn't lacking computation power, rather it lacks of existential interactions, or Thingy-ness.

The affordances of a capacitive screen are not the same as the affordances of a blender or alarm clock.

The idea for the Magic wand came from testing the Philips Hue system, a bundle of RGB light bulbs, hub, and app that allow users to control the color of specific lights. When interacting with the Hue, I found the app to be a particularly confounding experience. In order to change (or address) individual lights, you have to jiggle sliders and until you discover which light is being modulated. This causes a break in interaction.

Magic Wand User Testing from Ms. Pamela on Vimeo.