Pillows As Adaptive Interfaces

This article discusses “small interactive throw pillows containing intelligent touch-sensing surfaces” which were developed by the authors in order to “explore new ways to model the environment, participants, artifacts, and their interactions, in the context of expressive non-verbal interaction”. It presents the overall design of the experiment and describes the architecture of the environment, the user, the interface and also the engine. It also discusses the interactive pillows and the devices it can interact with. The article wraps up with an evaluation of the pillow prototype that was used and present potential plans for the future of this device.

A strong point of the paper is the fact that it contains descriptions of all the parts of the system i.e. the sensors, sensor evaluation module, context module, communicator module and adaptation engine. It also provides a flowchart-type representation of the relation between all the system components to provide a clearer picture to the reader.

I liked the fact that the authors explained why they chose to use pillows. It did make a lot more sense to use them as opposed to blankets, chairs, sofas, teddy bears, watches, remote controls, etc. This is a great concept and has several future applications.