Thoughts on Interaction Modalities for Interactive Mirrors

Tuesday, 3 May, 2016 § Leave a comment

I’ve been contemplating for a while now on getting an interactive mirror for myself; till now i haven’t found the right one with the features and specifics i want. This has led me to potentially design an interactive mirror for myself that i hope to create this summer or when i have some free time. On that note; below are some interaction modalities that i considered and pros and cons associated to each.

Touch(multi-touch) – Touch is an important method of interaction as it allows for physical tactility of interactive objects. Furthermore users have become accustomed to interacting with digital object with touch.

However i see a couple of issues with touch interaction.

  1.  Mirrors are notorious for getting finger prints and oils on them cleaning them regularly can potentially be a problem.
  2. Touch interaction adds breaks to your morning routine you physically have to touch a button or open an app etc.

This is not to say touch interaction shouldn’t be present, it should and it’s a must for reasons i’ve outlined above. But what i mean is that touch interaction shouldn’t be the primarily interaction method.

Gestural Control – Gestural control is something that isn’t seen quite as often as modality for HCI, however it could it potentially be useful as a method of interaction it would eliminate one of the problems with touch.

However its lack of precision for interaction with buttons and other UI components it may not be the best method of interaction.

And it still affects your routine as you have to wave your hands around to interact with the display.

Voice Recognition –  Voice is something that really unique and has recently started to become really accurate in recent years and could potentially serve as a primary method of interaction with an interactive display which could be complemented by the precision of touch interaction.

It would circumvent the problems associated with touch and should serve as a fluid method of interaction.

However like with gestural control it lacks precision, touch interaction could supplement the precision aspect of this interaction modality.

One thing to note here is the primary use case i’ve selected for this interactive mirror is the morning getting ready routine. However in different use cases one or the other methods of interaction may prove to be a better solution. One such example that comes to mind is in a dressing room at a clothing boutique, where gestural control can be used to swipe through various styles of clothing.



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