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Response to [Reality-based Interaction: …] by Jacob et al.


This paper sums up recently emerging post-WIMP interaction techniques and comes up with a notion called ‘Reality-based Interaction’ (RBI) where they believe all these techniques share some common characteristics – the four themes originated from the real world: naive physics, body awareness and skills, environment awareness and skills, social awareness and skills. To further demonstrate this notion, the paper finds evidence for the existence of RBI in current research, discuss its implication for design and conduct some case studies that reflect such theory and design thinking.


Definitions of the four themes:

  • Naive Physics: people have common sense knowledge about the physical world.
  • Body Awareness and Skills: people have an awareness of their own physical bodies and possess skills for controlling and coordinating their bodies.
  • Environment Awareness and Skills: people have a sense of their surroundings and possess skills for negotiating, manipulating, and navigating within their environment.
  • Social Awareness and Skills. people are generally aware of others in their environment and have skills for interacting with them.


  • Computer world does not have to mimic the real world all the time – sometimes it creates new reality (e.g. the real Facebook ‘like’ stamp, the real Angry Bird toys, etc.)
  • What might be missing is the connection (correlation, causation, extension, etc.) between the four themes.
  • Which one is better: mimicking the real world or becoming part of the real world.

About Xiang 'Anthony' Chen

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