Visualization: “Seeking Cyborg for Interactive Long Walks…”

Paul Tice Multimedia, Rendering, Animation

Lone Cyborg

How we interact with data continues to be a hot trend in the information technology (IT) world. The ability to navigate and have a somewhat ‘tactile’ approach to learning and assimilation has developers working around the clock to provide consumer simplicity in such applications. A popular trend in ‘IT’ is the ability to navigate virtually with an avatar of some sort to inspect and experience infrastructure. Several companies are offering this service. Active Worlds and Spatial are popular in the circles I move about.

A brilliant example of information displayed through interactivity can be seen through Magic Mirror and how AR is used to enhance museum experiences.

Magic Mirror Technology


This interactive kiosk allows users to interact intelligently. This tech depicts how the future of learning may look for the rest of us. With the amount of data coming our way – 600,000 decades worth of reading (according to Niki Kittur) to absorb the internet – people could use a bit faster learning medium in areas they are devoting their lives to. We don’t want to reinvent the wheel, and chances are that someone has already begun working on something you just thought of, but perhaps has yet to think of it the way you have. As a modest believer in independent invention, I think it’s true that we are all ‘tuning in’ to one another and technology is speeding that process up.

A much more common and accessible approach continues to be the use of infographics which have been around for hundreds of years. This is not limited to simple static graphics anymore though. There are a few infographic communication tools that are simple and engaging that I like to use. For fast presentations from my iPad, I use Keynote and PowerPoint from the Apple App Store – Another good one is Prezi, which has an app available as well.

Social Implications
What are the implications of bringing technology to our face with speed and rapid fury? Cyborg anthropologist Amber Case from Portland TED Talks about social changes that are occurring as a result of our interactivity with information. She advocates seamless integration of the human experience with technology but cautions that self-reflection may be a price we pay should we continue to stay plugged into our information gathering on a constant basis.

When you have no external input, that is a time for the creation of self – Amber Case

Indeed, all work and no nature walks makes Johnny a red-eyed, pasty man…You can read more about Amber’s work at her website and blog: ‘Caseorganic

Feeling Good About It
A concept coined by Shyam Sankar called the ‘Human Computer Symbiosis’ defines the blending of technology and the human experience as beneficial. This is accomplished by minimizing ‘friction’ in the user experience (UX). The more seamless the user interface and interactivity with technology, the better for us.

Trends in the use of infographic visualizations were noted as moving toward the realm of intuitive interactivity. So, are we there yet? Some are closer than others. This level of interactive IT is available, it’s just a matter of how deep you want to plug in and how safe you believe that might be.

ToPa 3D~