The dramatic acceleration of digital technologies and their integration into physical products is transforming everyday objects. Our domestic appliances, furniture, clothing, are growing in intelligence. Smart objects are increasingly capable of interacting with humans in a purposeful manner with intentionality. This collection of essays, descriptions of empirical work, and design case studies brings together perspectives from interaction design, the humanities, science and technology studies, and engineering, to map, explore and interrogate ways in which our relationships with everyday smart objects might expand and be re-imagined.
As more intelligent products, systems and services are entering our everyday lives, there is an urgent need to understand how intelligence can be expressed and interacted with. We present two design cases to illustrate how we have applied Research-through-Design (RtD) to better understand how to make intelligence expressive through a product’s embodiment and how this impacts interaction as being physically and socially embedded. We then articulate these insights more broadly as design-related research questions for Human-Agent Interaction (HAI) and discuss how we intend to explore them at our newly established, Expressive Intelligence Lab.
This paper is a methodological replication of Barendregt et al. , who urged Child-Computer Interaction field to embrace Intermediate Level Knowledge as a meaningful and valid way of generating knowledge. We extend this epistemological gap to the Human-Robot Interaction (HRI). Currently, artefact-centered papers—papers that present the development of an artefact—seem to be one of the primary ways that the HRI field generates knowledge. In this paper, we made an analysis of all papers presented at the HRI Conference from 2006 to 2020. Our results indicate that the 41,2 % of the papers were artefact-centered; and the impact of them, measured in the number of citations, was significantly lower than other kinds of papers. We used 23 artefact-centered papers to formulate two strong concepts and investigate how the foundational design epistemology about intermediate-level knowledge and RtD can contribute to other design-related disciplines to produce useful and valuable knowledge.
In the context of human-agent interaction, we see the emergence of computational artefacts that display hybridity because they can be experienced as tools and agents. In this paper we propose a tool-agent spectrum as an analytical lens that uses ‘intention’ as a central concept. This spectrum aims to clarify how a computational object can change from being conducive to the intentions of others (‘tool’) to appearing to have intentions of its own (‘agent’), or vice versa. We have applied this analytical lens to unravel people’s experiences in two hybrid cases; guide dogs as a living mobility aid for the visually impaired and an experimental wearable object named “BagSight” as a rudimentary artificial counterpart. We compared both cases through the lens of a tool agent spectrum and elaborate on these results by discussing some of the principles by which computational artefacts can shift across the spectrum. We conclude by discussing the limitations of this study and provide suggestions for future work.
Our interactions form an intricate ‘dance’ – a dance re- quiring a fluent integration of both expressivity (e.g. to ap- proach someone) and sensitivity (e.g. detect if you ‘should’ approach someone). Work on behaving artefacts has fo- cused mostly on the social, emotional and aesthetic quali- ties that can be evoked – expressed – through interactions involving such artefacts. Meanwhile, novel methods from social signal processing and affective computing are beginning to imbue artefacts with a reflective awareness – a sensitivity – to the emergent social aspects of the interaction.
In HCI there is an increasing trend to approach computing artifacts as agents. In this article, we make a case for “Objects with Intent” (OwI’s) as an emerging type of agents that take advantage of the meaning of everyday things as the site for their intelligence and agency. After reviewing relevant existing research in HCI and related fields, we demonstrate how OwI’s provide a new perspective on human–agent interaction. We then elaborate on how the notion of OwI’s is informed by Dennett’s theory of intentionality and Leontiev’s Activity Theory. Thereafter, we illustrate the application of OwI’s through the design case of Fizzy, a robotic ball used to stimulate hospitalized children to engage in physical play. We end by discussing the nature and merit of OwI’s and reflecting more broadly on the challenges involved in designing OwI’s.
Design-based inquiries into the networked products of the Internet of Things (IoT) lack a coherent understanding of the effect of such products on society. This paper proposes a new taxonomy for networked products, which would allow articulation on their current state and future, and provide insights to designers for creating meaningful and aesthetic products of IoT. Central to this framework is the proposition that our current product-scape should be understood as a distribution of material agencies and best analyzed through the metaphor of “agency”. We identify
three types of agencies, i.e., the Collector, the Actor, and the Creator, and discuss how this approach could create new design methodologies to create more meaningful networked products that would empower people in their everyday lives.
Imagine products we are familiar with, such as lamps, jackets, and toys. Now imagine they are given a purpose: The lamp wants you to have a good night’s sleep; the jacket encourages you to calm down; and toys wish for you to be active. I call these artifacts Objects with Intent. In research carried out at TU Delft, we are developing conceptual designs and interactive prototypes to explore Objects with Intent as a new interaction design paradigm. Here, I present three of these designs and discuss some of the challenges we faced in designing them, with the goal of helping illuminate and frame future research at the convergence of
industrial design and animistic design approaches.