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How Would you Remove Touch Cues from Elevators, Door Locks, and more?

Posted October 21, 2018

Traditionally, people have interacted with things like elevators, thermostats, security systems and door locks by pressing buttons, adjusting dials or using a smartphone app. Technologies are emerging so that the need to control these items in the same way may change. You may soon be able to give them cues without making those  physical interactions.  One might define these emerging technologies as  “user interaction technologies” or “touchless interaction technologies.”

Lifts. Image credit:, CC0 Public Domain

We want to explore the ways that people can prompt these technologies to complete actions, whether it’s  calling an elevator that takes you to the correct floor, the hotel or home door unlocking for the right person, or knowing what room temperature makes you comfortable. We want to understand how we can easily let a user recognize that the technology is present and know how to prompt the technology.

Consider this example: You walk to the entrance of the supermarket and don’t break stride as the automated glass doors slide open for you. You didn’t have to touch them, and you didn’t consciously think about whether you were about to walk face first into a door. We want to bring that same level of understanding to these “touchless interaction technologies” when they are available with our products.

Tell us how you would bring touchless prompts to these technologies. In your submission, answer the following:

  1. Choose one of the listed systems (elevator, thermostat, home security, hotel or home door lock)  and tell us a new way a user could prompt the system to do something. What would be the benefit of this method over the traditional touch method? Describe the interaction in detail. 
    1. Consider how the location of the system might matter. For instance, it may not make sense to use voice commands for an elevator in a loud, crowded shopping mall, or require interaction with a mobile device while bringing groceries into the house.
    2. Consider how the technology would apply to different age groups and demographics.  For instance, some people are comfortable in utilizing the latest technology, while others are still novices when using a mobile device.
  2. For your idea, how can we make it so the user easily understands how to interact with the system ? Ideally, the user will immediately know what is needed to prompt an action.
  3. How might multiple users be able to interact with the system simultaneously?

Source: MindSumo

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