Now that the course is mostly behind me, I am pleasantly surprised with how much I learned. This is surprising to me because it has been approximately a year since I started working at the Wellesley College HCI lab and thought I knew a great deal about tangible user interfaces. I found that this course better equipped me to take on all the phases of TUI development; from the conceptual design, to the prototypes, to the polished prototype.
In addition to learning theory which explained why it was that we did things the way we did in lab, I also understood more about industry and why it is taking so long for the wonderful products developed to be widely adopted. The course also gave me something to look forward to in terms of innovation and new technology. There was a moment not long ago (*cough, cough* when the iPad came out *cough, cough*) when I lost hope for innovation and touch-based interaction. Now I know that there will forever be dreamers and innovators that can make amazing products and see them “alive,” even if it is only in their lab (IO Brush, SixthSense).
I also find myself more likely to search for cool and up-and-coming tech than I was before. All in all, I find myself sad the course is over but hopeful that next semester’s HCI class and an independent study will equally broaden my horizons.