More Interactions of Interest

Published: Jun 7, 2022 by

Following up on Interaction of Interest here are a few more things I’ve messed with in the last couple of months that I found to be pretty neat.

Using a Wacom Stylus in the browser — did you know that the HTML 5 pointer event has special properties for pens? I didn’t, but a few months back when I was exploring the benefits of using a wacom tablet with a web app I learned about them. Surpringly (to me) a pen just kind of works with many apps for simple events, but allow a lot of custom functionality. I think because of the ubiquity of the mouse and keyboard many apps are built without much thought given to what kind of input device might make the most sense. Of course the individual using the web app needs to posses the device, but I think many interactions can be enhanced through alternative input devices. Pens, knobs, touch pads etc.

Tensorflow.js — I wrote a short article on this one, but in general the short amount of time that I can to spend working with Tensorflow.js left me wanting more. I think that ML has a lot of benefits we are only beginning to discover. The prospect of enabling the use of ML in client web apps and pushing the learning cycle to the user device is really interesting to me.

Forecastle Cashless Wrist Band — Rachael and I recently went to Forecastle. The festival was a lot of fun, but a few weeks before we were set to attend we recieved wristbands for the event in the mail with registration instructions. Inside the band was an NFC chip that was your ticket into the event. You could also register a card with it to use as a form of payment anywhere in the festival. Having attended quite a few concerts, conventions and festivals this was new to me, but I thought it was awesome. For one it didn’t assume the attendee has a smart device to bring with them, and it also didn’t assume that their smart device would have a good connection to download or open an app, site etc at the event (a common source of issues). What I noticed was that lines to get in were way shorter. No shuffling for tickets, no getting your phone out to open an app, no waiting on face id or entering your passcode. You scan and your in. Payment seemed to have the same benefit of not shuffling for wallets, waiting for you phone/watch wallet to load etc. These bands really streamlined a lot of the wasted time at the end of the line. I hope to see more of these in the future.

Bluetooth Vinyl — This sounds like an oxymoron. I recently picked up a record player that was able to connect via bluetooth to my soundbar and…’s awesome. There is something enjoyable about placing the record on the plate, and changing the disk side to hear more as one side comes to a close. That said cable management isn’t fun, and worrying about preamps, speakers just for the player etc wasn’t something I wanted to get into. I’ve been surprisingly happy enjoying the ritual of vinyl with the ease of a bluetooth audio connection.

Pokemon Legends Arceus — another interaction I wrote more about in another article. This game reminded me how much fun exploring a game with somebody else is (I used to play primarily multi player video games) while also driving home the creativity and care of Nintendo (and for this particular game GameFreak).

Photo by Elviss Railijs Bitāns: