Designing for Natural Interfaces: Body

June 2018
5 pm
9 pm
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SPACE10 is pleased to present ‘Designing for Natural Interfaces: Body’—our fourth event in a new series of lectures that aims to be a leading forum for debate and discussion about the way technology is changing the world.

Designing for Natural Interfaces: Body

About the series

We are standing on the cusp of a fundamental shift in how we interact with technology.

From computer vision to voice searches to brain interfaces, myriads of new technological developments are emerging—raising questions about what’s to come as a result.

The ‘Designing For Natural Interfaces’ lectures aim to detect patterns in the chaos, separate the signal from the noise, and make sense of our fast-changing world.

In particular, the lectures will explore how to design technology that we can use in more natural and intuitive ways—resulting in applications that complement everyday human behaviour.

Held monthly, each lecture is free and will feature a panel of cutting-edge speakers drawn from a wide range of disciplines, from artists and philosophers to social scientists and technologists.

About the lecture, ‘Body’

Making objects move with your mind has been a staple element of magic in fantasy flicks for decades. Well, turns out magic is real: today, advancements in science and technology are enabling us to use a flick of the wrist or a simple thought to control our devices—ultimately blurring the lines between bodies and hardware.

Indeed, we can now interact with apps using just our facial expressions. We can wave our hands in real life, but see them do the exact same thing in virtual reality. We can even move a cursor on a computer screen just by thinking the command, or – if we’ve lost a limb – replace it with a robotic arm we can control with our thoughts just like we would a real one. Sure, we still swipe screens and press buttons—but it seems that soon, we won’t be using just one part of our body in our technological interactions. Instead, we’re finding our hands, minds and ourselves within the interface.

It’s helpful to frame these developments around a philosophy some companies working in this field dub “Naturalism”: the ability to intuitively interact with the virtual world without having to learn to use abstracted sets of controls. Considering that logic, augmenting the human body could do profound things for assisting people with disabilities in regaining mobility, for example. But on the flip side, it could land us on an even slipperier slope in terms of how much privacy we give up to the companies providing us with these technologies; after all, almost nothing is as personal as your own body.

So, when can you move an object with your mind? It’s hard to say, but one thing’s for sure: it’s time to galvanize the conversation around the human body as an interface.


A few days before the event, we’ll publish Lecture Notes you can read to get a stronger grasp around the topic and think of questions and areas of debate you’d like to pursue during the event.