Pillows as Adaptive Interfaces



The publication discusses research into technology capable of enhancing user experience and interaction using special pillows as adaptive interfaces.

The Good

Conceptually, this system is a great idea. The reason why I see something like this succeeding is because its focus is much smaller, and makes no attempt to completely replace of working technology. Also, it's not overly invasive in an environment - it's an unassuming pillow that happens to do stuff.

Beyond the applications they suggested, I could see something like this being very useful for use in homes with autistic children who are stimulated by touch, but bothered by the complications of computers and other electronics. Something soft and tactile would be much more appealing.

On a larger scale, a room could be outfitted with sensors like those described in the introduction of the paper. These sensors would give a much wider array of possible environments to simulate given a set of room conditions.

The Bad

It seemed that the system is pretty limited at this point as far as interaction and capability. The pillows have a few tricks, but are restricted by what is programmed in. Lastly, my biggest concern is the fragility of the pillows - I'd want to be able to toss them around without fear of destroying internal components.


This is a very cool system that has great potential. Also, I think that environment "sensing" entirely doable at this point with consumer products and clever software writing. It's just a matter of what the system is capable of, and how interaction takes place.