Supporting Subtlety with Deceptive Devices and Illusory Interactions

AbstractMobile devices offer constant connectivity to the world, which can negatively affect in-person interaction. Current approaches to minimizing the social disruption and improving the subtlety of interactions tend to focus on the development of inconspicuous devices that provide basic input or output. This paper presents a more general approach to subtle interaction and demonstrates how a number of principles from magic can be leveraged to improve subtlety. It also presents a framework that can be used to classify subtle interfaces along with a modular set of novel interfaces that fit within this framework. Lastly, the paper presents a new evaluation paradigm specifically designed to assess the subtlety of interactions. This paradigm is used to compare traditional approaches to our new subtle approaches. We find our new approaches are over five times more subtle than traditional interactions, even when participants are aware of the technologies being used.

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