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The Disappearing Computer initiative has a clear vision of the Future. A vision in which our world of everyday objects and places becomes infused and augmented with information processing and exchange. In this vision, the technology providing these capabilities is merged with real world objects and places, so that in a sense it disappears into the background. As a consequence, human-centred notions, such as real objects and everyday settings, can come into foreground, rather than the computer-centric ones which have determined the evolution of the computer-as-we-know it. Artefacts will be able to adapt and change, not just in a random fashion but based on how people use and interact with them. Together, new functionalities and new forms of use will emerge that will enrich everyday life, resulting in an everyday world that is more ‘alive’ and ‘deeply interconnected’ that our current day understanding.

Since 2003 the Disappearing Computer (DC) has passed into its second phase which is Disappearing Computer II. And it continues to fund projects based on the original initiative throughout Europe.

While it is true that some people advocate change based on new possibilities, others actively resist it. Even if the majority accepts new technology, only a minority truly adopts new practices. And we can see this today as far as computer ownership does not guarantee computer literacy. According to McCullough [1996], there is no better example of circumstantial knowledge than the way some people perceive the computer as its input and output devices alone - as if the screen is actually the computer. This is an indication that physical devices are the only tangible elements of the technology.

Physical Computing takes advantage of the above indication and uses it as a tool to engage people. It unites the space and the computer into one entity.

Physical Computing:

Using Everyday Objects as Communication tools


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