Physicality in Hybrid Products - The Role of Physicality when Data, Services and New Social Meanings Merge

Year: 2014
Editor: Miko Laakso, Kalevi Ekman
Author: Lars Helland Bjertnaes, Trond Are Oritsland, Johannes B. Sigurjonsson
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
Section: Users in design and development
Page(s): 448-457
ISBN: 978-1-904670-58-2


This paper explores the role of the physical components in interactive devices, when data, networks, services and new social meanings merge into Hybrid Products. The methods used are a literature review with product design as a point of departure and an experiment with investigative prototyping. It is claimed, by giving examples, that the “dedicatedness” of a hybrid product has value for the user as long as the product has a sufficient amount of flexibility incorporated. It is also argued that physicality is good at narratives and emotions, two important elements in making data useful and graspable for humans. For new products, successful implementation of physicality is achieved, when the tangible interface becomes an embodied and native part of the product.

Keywords: Hybrid products, tangible embodied interaction, Internet of Things, product design, physicality, ubiquitous computing


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