Designing Interactions

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Jun Rekimoto

Jun Rekimoto is interviewed in Chapter 9 – Futures and Alternative Nows.His designs relate to the future mouse envisaged by Stu Card, and the most advanced PDAs described by Jeff Hawkins and Dennis Boyle. His vision of the future connects to the ideas about ubiquitous computing described by Terry Winograd.

Jun Rekimoto directs the Interaction Laboratory of Sony Computer Science Laboratories (CSL). It is tucked into the Tokyo cityscape in an unobtrusive office building, just a few minutes walk from Sony headquarters. The intimate connection been the lab and Sony development is more than physical; CSL has produced a stream of research that is pragmatically connected to the business of the company. Jun seems young to be running a lab with a dozen researchers and designers in his group, but he speaks with authority and thoughtfulness that makes you immediately appreciate his leadership qualities. He studied at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, and moved to Sony after eight years of industry experience. He established the Interaction Laboratory in 1999 to investigate the future of human-computer interactions and digital lifestyles. He is interested in designing interactions for portable computers, situated in the real world and augmented by computer-based information. He envisages the ability of the computer to assist the user without having to be directly instructed. Before the end of the decade, he expects that such computers will be as commonplace as today’s Walkmans, electronic hearing aids, eyeglasses, and wristwatches.

Pick and Drop allows you to pick up any item on one computer, hold it virtually on your stylus, and tap to drop it on another computer. Jun describes this design as he demonstrates it, and discusses the practicalities of ubiquitous computing.

Jun at his desk in Tokyo. Photo Author