Designing Smart Living Objects – Enhancing vs. Distracting Traditional Human–Object Interaction

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To realize Weiser’s vision of ubiquitous computing, a popular approach has been to create so-called smart living objects, which are everyday objects in our living environment augmented with digital technology. In this paper, we survey different smart living objects and classify their design choices into different types of digital enhancement. These design choices are about choosing the relation between the object’s digital enhancement and its traditional use – (1) whether the object’s digital function enhances ordistracts its original function, and (2) whether the object’s digital interaction matches orconflicts with its original interaction. Finally, we formulate design heuristics that new digital enhancement should consider the object’s traditional function and interaction method, and avoid conflict between the digital enhancement and the traditional use.