“We perceive while being perceived.”
“Intouch” is a device that can deliver considerations between friends by pressing the button, which represent the link with one friend. It uses the variations of color and the temperature to visualize people’s considerations for each other. In addition, the color and warm might not be match because of different level of cares between two people, it discuss the degrees of correspondence between one and others. Following I would critically introduce this social device with different paradigm in HCI.
From 1st paradigm’s view, which as fields in engineering and human factors, the “functionality” of this artifact is the most important value. Intouch provide an innovation way to make people seed their consideration physically. The size of the button is also proper to human hand. However, compare it to other existing communication tool and social network, Intouch is less efficiency and less portable.
For 2nd paradigm, which represents cognitive science, regards “usability” in this device as priority. The four squares on a wood box make people easy to understand they are buttons to press. But they might need to be explained to realize they are linking with four friends, and there are not name or picture on it, that might be a mistake for people to seed consideration to a wrong person. Intouch use different color level to visualize how much care one gave to another, and temperature to make people know that how much another people care about one. This is easy for people to measure their consideration with visual and touch. But the massage and information that be delivered is unclear and blur.
Only when we discuss it with 3rd paradigm, which concern HCI as phenomenological situated, the meaning that made by Intouch could fully been consider. It use simple movement that is similar to Facebook’s “poke” function, but make it physical and give more meaning in it. Every time one think about another, just like a ritual, he or she could poke it, and the care will accumulate. Interestingly, one’s given and receiving might not be the same. It argues the balance of given between one and others. And also, when consideration could be seen, touch and compare, would it be increase or decrease? Or it would even be socialize that might not really from one’s heart? From the point of view, Intouch successfully discusses the subtle sentiment of human being, and the relationship between one and others.
After view Intouch from different angle of paradigm, we could find that it all have some deign point, it is cover functionary, usability and meaning making. But if we only valuate the artifact with 1st and 2nd paradigm, discuss would be insufficient. So I think 3rd paradigm could give those device that attempt to give some meaning to human world or inspire some reflection a proper position to stand.