Daisy Fumes

Interface Lab: Sensors of my World

Written by Daisy Fumes


interface lab


daily life

On my daily exploration in our world I encounter many sensors. Probably more than I even realize. It’s really easy to be aware of the ones that service me directly once I’m paying attention, but I don’t even know which ones I’m not seeing that don’t.

The sensors I noticed were: The sensor that tells sliding doors to open for me when I approach. The card reader that tells the swinging security gates to open for me because I am part of this building. The button that tells the elevator that comes for me. The button that tells the elevator where to take me. The sensor that recognizes I’ve reached the requested floor. The card reader that opens larger inner doors. The sensor that tells the sink my hand is there. The sensor that tells the soap dispenser my hand is there. The sensor that tells the paper towels I am there for some. The toilet sensor that thinks I’m ready to flush because I moved. The toilet button that tells it to flush when I’m actually ready.

With most interactions it was a one and done situation to get my needs serviced. The interaction that took a few interactive steps was the elevator. First was the button to call the elevator and then the button to select a location. There is also the sensor that is checking to see if we’ve arrived at the location, but that to me is more the elevator talking to itself and less of it interacting with me.

We also could consider the bathroom a whole experience and the elements inside are parts of it instead of the individual elements being their own experiences. I sure hope my peers are all using the full bathroom experience and not just the toilet.

I think one of the reasons it’s hard to detect sensors that don’t service me is because there is no feedback to interact with or appreciate. There could easily be something taking note of my presence and giving that feedback to someone else and I have no idea. The immediately creepy place my brain takes is survellience, but the positive place it takes me is data collection for the sake of bettering human life or even life in general.

While I am incredibly excited to use sensors, this exploration makes me really want to make sure that sensors I add to my project are known and not invisible.