Meet my nephew, Stuart. He’s about two and a half years old in the photo (now almost 4). Every Sunday, I’d take Stuart to the McDonald’s PlayPlace near our grandma’s house and he would always jump with joy every time he’d see the ‘ball pit.’
Often times, he would be alone in the pit. He would be okay throwing balls around for the first five minutes or so but he would soon turn to me, hand me a ball and beg me to play with him.
Crawford defines Interaction as a conversation, a dialog, a two way communication between two entities. He goes on by laying out the characteristics of Interaction – entities have the ability to receive input, entities have the ability to produce output and all entities’ output is in direct relationship to the content of their respective input. Although true, I find his definition somewhat robotic and is missing the very essence of interaction itself.
You see, interaction is human nature. Like my nephew Stuart, it is innate for us to crave for emotion, stories, affection, and ultimately companionship.
I love how Victor in his blog rants about the future of technology as merely “Pictures Under Glass.” For victor, technology should be felt by all senses of our body, nay, be experienced by our whole being.
If technology should be experienced by our whole being, I’d like to argue that interaction is beyond ‘the physical.’ True interaction crosses the boundaries of the physical and ultimately ends in the metaphysical – it is every time we find joy in a good story with a friend, experience love every time we are kissed, experience delight every we get tagged on Instagram, or even experience hate when our brand new MacBook Pro conks out on us.
Interestingly, Google launched Android One yesterday. In its communication, it decided to go beyond the technology but focus on the people that will ultimately interact with the piece of technology:
Interaction therefore is not just about a conversation, nor about the interface. Interaction is about people and the meaningful relationships that arise from it, wether between people or gadgets.
Personally, I’d like to define interaction in the context of my background. As a marketer, interaction for me is how consumers (humans) interact with products and services (technology). But more importantly, interaction strives to create meaningful relationships between people and the products and services that they use, from computers to mobile devices to appliances and beyond.