Can you have physical interaction without being physical?
I would define physical interaction as any interaction where the person/thing/whatever changes its actions based on your own. For true physical interaction the thing you are interacting with cannot have one fixed storyline. Whether it is the unlimited possibilities of changing a conversation topic with another human, or a predefined, curated list of actions in a software program that are deployed based on a human’s reaction. The creator, or source, of the interacting program should not know exactly what is going to happen before you have engaged with the item. Physical interactions allow intimate objects an attempt at communicating with humans on a more personal and emotional level. Granted, you will need designers and engineers to ‘infuse’ this emotion, but the results are a human connecting with a machine on a level we never thought possible before. I think for really good physical interaction, a person should come away from the experience feeling that their own interaction with the program was in some way unique and that the next person to come along will have their own individual experience. I also believe that Bret Victor made an excellent point that the future of technological interactions should be extended beyond the pads of our fingertips. As humans, we are constantly moving everything from our limbs to the direction of our eyes. Why do we keep focusing on technology that renders us immobile? On my walk to and from school I see countless people standing motionless on the sidewalks staring down at their phones/tablets/smartwatches oblivious to the world around them. If you take the physicality out of physical interaction, do you still reserve the right to call it that?