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January 19, 2009

Extending the Senses

The web is still mostly a visual experience although sound (especially through video) is catching up. The intentional use of sound (apart from the supporting soundtrack in video's) is however still rare. There are experts around that make a strong case for the use of sound; see for example SonicID's weblog. Note how they 'Explore[..] branding and identity with music, sound, voice and silence'. The latter is only possible of course when you use sound in the first place; you need the contrast. And this is exactly why triggering different senses should be considered more often.

Mickey's senses

Also (3D) movement and touch are increasingly getting a virtual extension. The first is most evident in the Nintendo Wii game console, but also in the ear-movements of the Nabaztag (which respond to electronic messages). Touch is in a basic form coming online through 'tag-readers' like (again) the Nabaztag and Tikitag. Another example of virtually connecting through (spatial) movement is the forthcoming 'Sekai Camera'; it will allow you the access an added reality in the space you are in.

The senses 'smell' and 'taste' are probably still further away, although research in 'olfactory displays' is well underway.
The breakthroughs will probably come from playfull applications like the RJDJ games are for sound and movement on the iPod/iPhone.

Posted by Almar at January 19, 2009 03:17 PM