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Fabricating customizable I/O

Fabricating customizable I/O

The common input and output devices of computing was defined decades ago and have not undergone significant change since. Innovation within the I/O space seem to happen in gaming, music production and performance, interactive art and specialized domains. This provides a recognizable interface with computers, but also a constrained one-size-fits-all approach where it is assumed that display, keyboard and mouse is the right way to interact with computers. This creates additional challenges for people with impairments that impact interaction or expert users who might benefit for tailored devices. A part of the group’s research focus on assistive technologies and how we can design for various user groups and even particular users. In parallel, we have an interest in exploring customization and tailorability as a way to adapt and appropriate devices for personal preference, better activity support, to overcome lacking in available designs and to increase the (aesthetic) experience of using technology.

A project within this theme would typically begin by identifying an activity, setting and/or type of device and survey the literature on related work. This would lead to the formulation of a design program and a series of design experiments with hardware, software and physical prototyping. The project will involve programming and fabrication, experimental prototyping and evaluation thereof. The outcome will be a report or thesis outlining the project, methodology, design rationale and implementation, and evaluation and/or analysis of the prototyping work, key insights and recommendations.

Example publication:

Beyond Generalization: Research for the Very Particular

Supervisors: Eve Hoggan and/or Henrik Korsgaard


Open ideas

Co-Designing I/O building blocks for appropriation

What kind of custom I/O devices would be fun to create? What kind of I/O devices would be beneficial (or fun) for a specific user, activity or setting? How would users participate in co-creating these I/O devices? What kind of technologies and protocols are needed? How does that change how people can and will interact with computers?

Rule-based engine for I/O(T)

Imagine a scenario where a user want to assign a behavior that spans multiple devices to one large red button on the physical desk or want several devices to respond to a specific event, how would they configure that? How do you tailor interaction and behavior across multiple I/O devices and software applications? How do you translate events into if-this-then-that rules? How do you record rules using physical components?