We grew up interacting with the physical objects around us. There are an enormous number of them that we use every day. Unlike most of our computing devices, these objects are much more fun to use. When you talk about objects, one other thing automatically comes attached to that thing, and that is gestures: how we manipulate these objects, how we use these objects in everyday life. We use gestures not only to interact with these objects, but we also use them to interact with each other. A gesture of "Namaste!", maybe, to respect someone, or maybe, in India I don't need to teach a kid that this means "four runs" in cricket. It comes as a part of our everyday learning.
So, I am very interested, from the beginning, how our knowledge about everyday objects and gestures, and how we use these objects, can be leveraged to our interactions with the digital world. Rather than using a keyboard and mouse, why can I not use my computer in the same way that I interact in the physical world?
I started this exploration around eight years back, and it literally started with a mouse on my desk. Rather than using it for my computer, I actually opened it. Most of you might be aware that, in those days, the mouse used to come with a ball inside, and there were two rollers that actually guide the computer where the ball is moving, and, accordingly, where the mouse is moving. So, I was interested in these two rollers, and I actually wanted more, so I borrowed another mouse from a friend -- never returned to him -- and I now had four rollers. Interestingly, what I did with these rollers is, basically, I took them off of these mouses and then put them in one line. It had some strings and pulleys and some springs.
What I got is basically a gesture-interface device that actually acts as a motion-sensing device made for two dollars. So, here, whatever movement I do in my physical world is actually replicated inside the digital world just using this small device that I made, around eight years back, in 2000. 2:21 Because I was interested in integrating these two worlds, I thought of sticky notes. I thought, "Why can I not connect the normal interface of a physical sticky note to the digital world?"