What do you think 2022 will hold for interactive design?
Generative AI: I’m excited to see how AI generative design might progress interactive experiences in the near future. Interactive design experiences are traditionally determined by designers – but what if we set AI generative design to create interaction experience for us in the near future?
I would like to see how interactive experiences can build a more sustained sense of surprise, to keep the mind guessing. Great interactivity excites from its very initial engagement. But the supreme capability of our human instincts means that we’re often able to get in front of an interactive experience, so that after a few moments we can almost predict what might happen next, before it actually happens.
Connecting the senses: I’d like to see interactive design become even more emotive in 2022 – engagingly beyond the five key senses. For me the greater the sensorial spectrum of interactivity, the deeper the emotional response will be. Linking together sound, sight, taste, scent and touch but also going beyond those to reach our heat, hunger, thirst, balance, space, movement, action and location receptors.
I’m excited to see how the near future might more fully realise the benefits interactive design can bring to our wellbeing by responding to our tension, pressure and pain senses, for example.
More from the metaverse: As coronavirus restrictions continue to limit interactions in real life, our windows are already open for online environments to continue to step up and fulfil the personal, social and cultural interactions we all crave.
What was your favourite interactive design project from 2021?
At 12:20 on 25 December, like many people around the world, I was gripped by the live stream coverage of the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and perhaps the greatest interactive endeavour of the 21st century.
On a mission back to the start of time the JWST will present us with images from the very beginning of the universe and the moments that followed the big bang. Taking 30 years and costing £7.5bn to develop the telescope is a triumph of interactive innovation between international space agencies.
Its launch represents an amazing leap for interactivity which sees operatives in continuous control of the telescope despite it travelling over 1 million miles away from earth. About 100 times more powerful than Hubble, the key objective for operatives is to focus the telescope on light coming from the very first stars to shine in the universe. If all goes well, we’ll start seeing its images from as early as the summer 2022.
I’m fascinated by Webb’s ability to help us interact with our past, present and future. Light from a distant star can take years to reach us from across the expanse of space. Light from the first stars began its journey 13.5 billion years ago so Webb enables us to see those stars exactly as they were shorty after the Big Bang. By probing the dark matter and movement of distant galaxies, Webb could also help us understand how fast the universe is expanding and what its ultimate fate may be.
Its delayed launch date was 25 December, a day traditionally meant for celebrating festive birth and beginnings. How fitting that on this day we’re also witnessing an expedition to celebrate the birth of the cosmos too. A mission to find questions we haven’t thought to even ask yet.
Banner image courtesy of NASA