One of my designers handed me a mind altering book the other day, Analog In, Digital Out: Brendan Dawes on Interaction Design. This boy is a twisted, brilliant, genius, my favorite kind ;) He uses the most amazing things as input devices for his systems. Can you imagine:

  • Using Play-Doh as a user interface to control the speed of a video
  • Creating sonic paintings based on the sound-frequence of jazz music
  • Transforming the movement of people walking on a crowded street into visual creations

How does this guy turn science fantasy into reality? He believes:

  1. “Everything is number.”
  2. “There is all this invisible potential being generated in public spaces by people going about their everyday lives. It’s all just input waiting for you to manipulate into some kind of fascinating output.”

I was captivated by his Snow Globe Project. You see, Brendan buys snow globes as souvenirs from his travels and he had this crazy idea. Wouldn’t it be cool, if when you picked up and shook one of his snow globes, the digital photos that Brendan took on that particular trip would be displayed on his Mac. Using the Making Things Controller Kit, Brendan soon turned his Snow Globes into triggers for a walk through his digital scrapbook.

Read this book and forever change your perception of what a user interface can be.