Tangible interfaces were the hottest idea in experimental UI. As we’re all holed up working from home, it’s time to revisit it.
“Watching the world through a computer screen is agonizing,” Medium editor Sarah Kessler recently wrote about working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Having worked from home for the past 15 years, I know exactly what she means. The screen world is its own place: A world filled with a constant onslaught of too much bad news, too many work demands, and an ever-dwindling number of friends who are willing to hear me complain about it. Even on a great day, the pixels are a poor simulacrum for real life—for actually tasting a great meal instead of looking at one on Instagram, or laughing with friends on a couch instead of through emoji.