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Touchscreen gestures turned into physical interactions


Let's say the year is 2023, and we're now interfacing with our iPhones in a totally new way. How would you explain to a young person of the future how we interacted with our iPhones back in the touchscreen days? Gabriele Meldaikyte, a student at the Royal College of Art in London, has the answer -- she's created five 3D objects out of wood, lucite and other materials that make up a museum of iPhone gestures.

These mechanical objects demonstrate the tap, scroll, pinch, swipe and flick gestures through interaction. For example, the scroll gesture object (above) features a set of rollers connected by what appear to be a pair of rubber bands. Touching and "scrolling" the top roller scrolls a newspaper clipping up and down, much in the way that the iPhone gesture works.

Perhaps the most clever device was the one created to demonstrate the pinch/reverse pinch gesture used to zoom in and out. The reverse pinch gesture moves a pair of lucite "arms" apart so that they lift up a magnifier over a newspaper clipping, "zooming in" on the words.

The objects were exhibited at London's Victoria and Albert Museum in November at an evening event. I think if Steve Jobs was still alive, he'd want a set of these...

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