CHI 2011 Invited Talk: Bill Buxton – An Informal Walk through 35 Years of Interactive Devices

– To introduce Bill Buxton, it’s exciting and a little bit scary, not quite sure how to introduce Bill I could talk about his role at Microsoft Research as a principal researcher I could talk about his illustrious history working as a researcher at PARC, Xerox PARC, followed by being chief scientist out at Alias Research and then SGI I could talk about his various awards, the Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement, the various SIGCHI Achievement awards that he’s gotten, his ACM Fellow I could talk about his book, Designing User Experiences, which has really lit up the community, but you guys all know that already You know, the way I think of Bill is, part-time researcher, part-time designer, part-time musician, part-time historian, part-time everything, really Full-time visionary, that’s the way I think about Bill Just a wonderful guy, he’s been a wonderful mentor, teacher, model, for our community Rather than say any more, let me invite Bill up here to tell us about history and creativity, and the history of that through CHI, Bill (applause) – Thanks, (mumbles) So, good morning, it’s great to be in Vancouver actually This is kind of an interesting CHI for me, because, I don’t know, about six month ago, Disney asked me, ’cause he knew I had this basement full of stuff, and I guess he talked to my wife and she wanted it out of there for a while (laughing) And so, it had actually visited part of it, Vancouver, before It was part of a design exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery about six years ago, a show called, Massive Change We started getting serious about it, and I realized, this isn’t just a bunch of junk, it’s actually fairly interesting, so of course I’m not a hoarder, I’m a historian Now the thing about this that’s kind of interesting, I wanna tell ya a story and talk about this, not as a bunch of gadgets, but the geek in me just loves the gadgets, let’s be honest, it’s very cool But, it actually has a, I wouldn’t have brought them for that reason So the first thing we have to decide, and make a contract is, if you’re gonna be here is, is this just another geezer, coming along saying, “Well I’m 62, and I got nothin’ left in me “for creativity, so I’m just gonna tell you kids “what it was like in the old days, “and you’re nothin’ and we did it all.” (laughing) Or, that there’s something deeper here, which is actually really important about where we’re going I first saw a computer in 1971 That computer had a mouse, it had two-handed input, it had color computer graphics, it had real-time sound synthesis In one week, having never seen a computer before, I composed and performed with a computer the soundtrack for a documentary film That was in 1971 They’d had a mouse since 1968, that was my start A huge amount of what I’m considered having innovated on, was simply trying to re-create my very first experience, and it took 20 years, to get back to where I started That was at the National Research Council of Canada Now the thing that became really interesting to me then was to say, “Wow, from my very first experience, “a lot of the things we were moving towards, “were already there.” And as I’ve gotten older, and a little bit wiser, I started to see that there’s something else going on here, and it was that that wasn’t the exception, that was the rule, and that everything I’d been taught about creativity, and invention, culturally, was wrong We live in a culture that loves heroes We live in a culture where everybody wants to be a millionaire, I wanna be America’s idol, I wanna be this and that, I wanna be the star of the football team, the person who did this, the person who invented the light bulb or the gramophone or whatever, or I wanna be the next Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerman or whatever And all of that’s a myth Where it is true, it’s like somebody winning the lottery They’re freak cases If you try to be Bill Gates, forget it He’s a freak of nature, and timing That doesn’t mean he wasn’t incredibly talented and incredibly rich, but think about it, a business school would not base the success of their MBA program on how many Bill Gates they put out each year But without the MBA’s, you’d probably lower the chances of one coming out,

which is exactly the same thing as saying in the 17th century, what was there for music, was sort of like in Canada we have for minor hockey today It may not create a Mozart, or in the Canadian case, a Wayne Gretzky, but without it, Mozart might have been the best sausage maker in Salzburg There’s some history here that’s worth looking at, so I wanna talk through it, and what it means to me in terms of how I conduct my business The first thing is, everything refers back to something else, so this is no exception I’m gonna talk about this theory I have, called the Long Nose of Innovation, which I stole from Chris Anderson who wrote a book called, The Long Tail, which a lot of you have read, it started off as an article in Wired, and that he stole from himself and wrote a book, and I stole from him and just turned it the other way around and said, “Okay, it’s like “either Pinocchio, I’m telling ya lies, “or it’s like Cyrano de Bergerac, “and I’m gonna tell ya somethin’ you’re gonna love,” ’cause he was the ultimate lover, right? So what’s going on with the long nose? It basically says that innovation has this long history, of 20 years, on average, to go from the first germination of an idea, to becoming a billion-dollar industry Now, already I’ve told you something that is really, really, really important, and that is, anything that’s gonna become a billion-dollar industry, in the next 10 years, statistically speaking, is already 10 years old This is really important, because while all of us are trying to invent, out of the blue, something brand new, right in front of us, for the past 10 years, is the makings of the next big thing And those of us of a certain age, if we’d look inwardly, we’re gonna two things, we’re gonna nod our heads, and we’re gonna kick ourselves in the proverbial ass, and here’s why: there’s nothing going on today that we didn’t know about 10 years ago, and in many cases, as Gary will tell ya, 20 years ago The kick in the ass is, I didn’t understand it and I’m not rich and on CHI and the rest of the world, right? Just because I knew about it, didn’t mean I understood it, but it was there, and ask anybody, and just take a mental snapshot of what you know about what you’re using now, and I guarantee ya, in 10 years, you’re gonna say, “I knew about that, I used it, why didn’t I see that?” Now I’ll give ya some examples, and the question is, why don’t we see it? Because most of the nose is below the radar It’s completely available for those who know how to dig below the radar, but it’s there And so, I’ll give you an example that, from personal experience 1984 we started doing multi-touch in my lab at the University of Toronto We were not the first in the world, but we were the first to publish in the peer-reviewed literature, in fact, SIGCHI In CHI 95, you will find a publication on multi-touch Now along the way, it was there for anybody to read No patents, nothing 2007, two things happened: the iPhone, and Microsoft Surface All of a sudden, multi-touch was the greatest, hottest, brand new thing, and that, you know, some people even said, “We’ve invented this thing “in the past two years, and boy did we patent “the hell out of it, and it’s completely ours.” Well, I beg to differ But the nice thing about having peer-reviewed literature is, I don’t have to, the literature speaks for itself, hopefully But along the way, I can name at least three companies that actually implemented products around multi-touch, and that was their technology But what I would say, is that the nose has this peculiar shape The first part, is that where you’re doing your basic research, that’s where a lot of the people in this community are involved in Then you have this period of refinement and augmentation, and you have this other period of productization I know there’s other models that say, this is the wrong model, and I understand that The thing about being a designer is, I can hold many conflicting truths in my mind at the same time and believe them all, ’cause that’s how the world is, it’s not simple But, the key thing is, is that, along that path, for example, there was a thesis from the University of Delaware, where over 30 of the references were to the work of our lab They started a company called FingerWorks, which was acquired by Apple, and that’s where the multi-touch came Oh here’s the best part, the multi-touch we were doing in ’84, same year the Macintosh came out, was to make a drum, because I wanted to make a controller where I could hit and drag my hand across the skin of the proverbial hand drum,

and have the tone change while I was hitting it, ’cause all I cared about in those days was making music But that’s where it came, but it’s been there all the time There was a company here in Vancouver that manufactured multi-touch, and across the island, on Vancouver Island, there’s another company that also manufactured multi-touch systems, called Tactics But we don’t have to stay there Pretty interesting technology, a few years ago, most of you in the room remember when inline blades came out, fantastic new invention, great new business, great, right? Yeah Look how long the nose was It was more than 20 years, shall we say It was in the Netherlands, which was kind of interesting What I really wanna know is, in 1819, what were they rollerblading on? (laughs) Dirt roads? But it’s interesting, right? If you think about it, even something like the mouse Bill English built the first one in around ’63, late ’63 But that’s the normal date given to the mouse being invented, ’65, ’64 or ’65, but let’s, let’s not quibble over a year or two Let’s say it’s ’65 The big demo came out in ’67, was it ’68 I think, ’68? And then, already in ’68, Doug and Bill showed folks in Switzerland as well as at the National Research Council of Canada exactly how to build one I saw one and used one in ’71, that was a direct result of that transfer, because they both, the Swiss folks and the folks from Ottawa were at the big demo Xerox PARC got it in ’72 Everybody knew about it in the community already by then Star in ’83, uh ’82 Macintosh in ’84, and it wasn’t until Windows 95, 30 years after the mouse came out, that everybody used a mouse, and how could you not have one? But I have to tell you, every single person who saw it from the beginning, knew it was the right thing to do And it still took 30 years for a completely obvious idea It’s really interesting, and we never talk about history that way, because, I mean, we’re all wanting to, how these things happen, but it’s really important to think about how that knowledge There’s some studies you can get, the citations are there, but if you go to the National Academy of Sciences, they’re free downloads as PDFs, from the telecommunications and the information technologies part of the National Academy of Science and NRC in Washington And they have these tire-track diagrams Fred Brooks and Ivan Sutherland invented this notation, and they trace every single technology in telecommunications and information technology along a timeline where they have the strong, the heavy dark line on each of the three things, the heavy black is industrial productization The middle one is corporate research, and the top thin black one is academic basic research And then you’ll see things bouncing back and forth, and these things layer up in these networks But it just traces what’s actually going on In the so-called information revolution, what passes for information is just noise, and the information’s there, but it’s not information until it can serve informed decision making, and guidance There’s a huge amount of such guidance that’s being overlooked and not taken advantage of, that’s already been done And I think the reason is, partially, we’ve been taught, because we love heroes, that you have this notion of the genius inventor This country, not this country, the country just to the south of us, but it’s not alone, loves heroes And this notion of hero, is not what actually happens Sometimes you need the hero simply to be the one who can have enough power to get the money to fund the people who are actually the real heroes, but they, they’re too busy doing the work, so the hero can get the credit and get the money, and that’s the pact of the devil And I would put myself in that In may of the cases, I get the credit and the visibility, for the works that my teams do, but I make it so they don’t have to do that stuff, so they can actually do what they wanna do But, anybody who believes that they are the hero, is just delusional or dishonest So the alchemy method, you can’t make gold out of nothing, we know that

But the traditional model, how we think about it, we teach kids about inventions, and Edison, who had great lawyers and was a great talent scout, but a mediocre inventor, in my opinion You can’t do alchemy If you believe the long nose, it’s far more about prospecting, mining, which means you have to find the gold, you have to know how to look for it, you need the right tools, you have to go to the right locations, you need the right education, and then you have to know how to extract it economically, and then you have to, by building a mine and how to operate that, including the business skills, the technological skills, as well as the other creative skills You need to know how to refine it And after you’ve refined the gold, and you’ve got these gold nuggets, these gold bars, the best of us, the best that we can collectively aspire to, is to go to the next level of this little metaphor, of being goldsmiths, so we can turn the gold into something worth more than it’s weight in gold And if you look at the great successes, statistically speaking, and again, there’s these four percent outliers on each end of the distribution, but the vast majority is where this is the kind of process that actually goes on If we try to take the short path, it’s like trying to write a perfect code the first time, as if you knew what you were doing when you started So, if this is all the case, and the great things are out in front, and by the way, I’ll just put it to you this way When you go to the collection, I’ll show ya some stuff now, but when you go to the collection, if there was one thing you carry out of it, it’s this: a complete conviction that the only thing holding us back from reaching our true potential, is our imagination, that it is not technology ‘Cause you’re gonna see things that were done 20, 30 years ago, that I could still get Rick Rashid to fund as a research project if I didn’t tell him that I had it from 1984 I wanna say this in a really important thing, when I say dates, and every one of us should start learning what the power of two is to a high number, like say, 17, which was 17 Moore’s Laws ago That’s what 1984 was, was 17 Moore’s Laws ago Because you realize, that if they were doing things in 1984 that was interesting, that would blow your head off, that we just, “Wow, I’d love to do that today.” They were doing it with something, which today, the chip of the same size would have over 130,000 times the compute power from the same size chip, for the same price That’s what they did it with Now, I might even put my money where my mouth is I have a wrist watch Actually, I own three of these This is called the Casio AT 550 Now, you might have to believe me on this, but if I push this button, and get the calculator, I’m just gonna do a one, and it got a one on the screen You won’t be able to see it, but if somebody wants to be up here to verify that I’m not lying I’m gonna draw a seven on the screen, and I’ve now got a seven Then I’m gonna draw a plus, and now I’m gonna draw a three And now I’m gonna do an equal sign, and yes, in case you couldn’t do that in your head, it equals 20 Here’s the point Touch screen on a watch, entering data without all kinds of buttons, on a watch that sold for $99.95 in 1984 This watch came out the same year the Macintosh was released The reason I wear this watch and the reason I have three of them, is to remind me, while we’re all getting so excited about these glorious new things, like our iPhones and our fancy smartphones and things, and MP3 players Instead of being impressed with that stuff, I just look at this and I say, “No, no, no, don’t be impressed “The question is, what the hell have we been doing “for the last 25 years, in terms of why haven’t we met “the potential that this proved?” But I’m gonna go even further, with this one example, as to why this stuff’s important, and why we need to know more about it, and it’s this: what’s going on today? What are the hottest things?

Twitter How many people don’t wish Okay, all those people who are really happy that they didn’t invest in Twitter, put up your hand All those people who are really happy that they don’t, they couldn’t figure out how to monetize SMS-ing, texting, put up your hand Okay Have you noticed, you got your hand-held, and now I’m tweeting It’s really good I’m just down like this, two hands, eyes, everything like that With all our really clever smart technologies, guess what, this thing shows us that I can enter alpha-numeric data, eyes free, and touch-write instead of touch-type, so I can tweet while I look you in the eye I can look at the screens and be tweeting And if somebody just took this thing, and with using 1/130,000th of the compute power of the chip and used the rest just to get a little bit of communications to your laptop, you could be tweeting on your wrist watch or writing down your phone number, while I held your eyes, my dear We’re friends, it’s okay, my wife approves (laughing) I could do that In this age of tweeting and entering text, this shows that you can do it eyes free And the minute you have that, you’re just gonna say, “I’m not satisfied “with the stuff where my eyes have to be like this.” So 1984, points to where we could’ve been a long time ago but where we darn well should be going, in my humble opinion, and it confronts and says it’s possible, there’s no excuses That’s a healthy thing, because it all comes down to where you set the bar I had a talk with Steve Ballmer about some of this stuff I’m not gonna tell ya any corporate secrets, but here’s the thing I know he’s interested in sports, and in the ’68 Olympics, Fosbury, transformed the high jump, Dick Fosbury, in Mexico he won the gold mile, the gold medal by a mile, because he figured out if you twist it and did it differently, he’d still be within the rules, and he just completely transformed the field Anybody else could’ve done it, he just saw a different way of doing things We need these types of models, we need to step outside of ourselves, and not just look at the history of our own narrow discipline, but at these larger things and bring that to inform the decisions we make in our field This comes back to this notion about, what a great quote from Proust What did you learn today, “Hey mommy, I came to CHI, “and I paid $2,000 and I found out that 17 plus three “equals 20, and I heard somebody talk about Marcel Proust.” Good start, okay, so, but it is true The only true voyage of discovery isn’t to go to new places, we don’t need, that means, you don’t have to go to new technologies It’s see what’s there with other eyes That doesn’t mean stop doing technology, it just says, you don’t have to wait for the future to do great stuff And the proof is in the pudding One of the things that comes out of this that I think is really important, is, when I think about this stuff, is that My undergraduate degree is in music To get a four-year degree in music composition and theory, I had to pass an exam And here’s the exam, I walk in, the professors have the music library, all the records in the music library in the entire music department of Queens University, and they can pull out any record they want and put it on the record player, play it for 30 seconds, and I have to date it within 50 years, tell the form, probably who’s the composer, and what country it probably came from And if I can’t do that, for more than, out of 10, I gotta pass that, normal thing, five’s just a barely pass, I don’t graduate That’s for an undergraduate degree Anybody, ask anybody who studied art history, design, cinema, architecture, or any other discipline, literature, theater, and they have similar tests Picasso knew everything about art history, because you need to know the rules to break them In our industry, we don’t know our history I’m just curious, how many people, honestly speaking, how many people knew about this watch before I showed it to you? Now, given how important touch is, not just in litigation, those of you who do expert witness stuff, but for the rest of us, that’s really interesting We’re gonna have another conversation about this, ’cause I found somebody today that was really interesting

But what I really wanna say about this is, the digital technologies that we’re working with, are cultural artifacts We’ll come to that, in a moment, I’ll go into this deeper, but I want to lead into it, I wanna go through an exercise This is just a review I pulled out of a newspaper, about a book review, okay? You can pick any credible newspaper, pull out the book review, and, I just pulled this out, and there’s a, notice it’s got all these references back to the culture, it’s placing the book in the social, cultural, political history, stuff like that So what I wanna do is, since we’re in Canada, Margaret Atwood’s our sort of star writer I’m gonna write a review of a latest, of this Margaret Atwood novel for The Globe and Mail, which is our New York Times, if you wanna put it that way, or Le Monde, or the Times of London And here’s how it’s gonna go: it’s a book It has a fantastic cover It’s hard, it really protects the pages, it opens up easily, it holds the pages in place The binding is attached to the cover really well, so not only do the pages not fall out from each other, they are stuck to the binding so they’re really protected There’s a high luminance contrast between the paper, the white of the paper, and the black of the ink, making it easy to read and discriminate, even in dim light conditions Nice 12-point serif font, the search algorithms are outstanding, every page is numbered, and within the page, there’s paragraphs, and even within the paragraphs, the words are separated, sometimes with punctuation, to help put them together There’s chapter headings, and with all of that, at the beginning there’s this table of contents that lets you find anything in the larger structures fairly quickly, and furthermore, it’s standardized, like all of my other books, so it’s meeting the graphical interface standards of the day, and at the back there’s this thing called an index, actually they’re not in most books anymore, unfortunately, which is weird, ’cause they’re much easier to make, anyhow, this one has an index so I can find it on a word basis, get through this thing And by the way, there’s a story (laughing) I just paraphrased, if you did a deconstruction of almost every technology review, the literary style that we write about technology And I want you to contrast that with how we write about any of the other cultural artifacts that are important in our society You cannot be taken seriously as a cultural critic of anything that’s relevant to our society without placing it, in every sense, in context Socially, culturally, economically, politically, aesthetically, and relating to other disciplines We don’t do that, and here’s the kicker If you ask people, music, theater, art, dance, cinema, digital technology, which is the one that’s had the most impact in your life, in your society, in your country, over the last 20 years? 99.999% are gonna say digital technology Say the same thing for the next 10 or 15 years, what do you think’s gonna affect the quality of life and everything like that in your culture and society? It’s gonna be the same answer And if that’s the case, and it is a cultural artifact, and yet we, why are we not giving it the same respect and consideration, both in design and the discourse around it? One of the things I wanna say here is not only will knowing the history help us understand how to… it’ll enable us to realize we can do better, and how to do better, but this third aspect says, and how, in saying doing better, we realize that that’s a value judgement, which involves ethics and all other kinds of value, and in order to deal with better, we need to have some anchors in terms of history Let’s say this simply, it’s really hard to extrapolate from a point If I’ve got the past and the present, it may not be a straight line, but I now have a point from which I can orient myself, to better navigate wherever I wanna go And I think that this is deeper, part of what we’re talking about here So, what’s changed?

The common view, if you talk about technology is that, basically over the last years, oh yeah, I mean, you just do this Do this at a next cocktail part, especially if you’re shy, it’s a good way to meet people You know, I heard this idiot, um, me, saying that, nothings changed really in technology over the last, since ’84 They’re gonna say, “That’s nonsense.” Okay, what’s changed? Almost every case you’re gonna get the following answer in the following order: smaller, faster, cheaper, it’ll get fuzzier as you go along, more of them, connectivity, and finally, somebody might say input/output My view is, that list is in exactly the wrong order, in terms of the importance and impact on people, society, and everything, and this has always been my case The people who know me well have heard me say this and use that slide over, and over, and over again If you wanna know why the collection is about input/output devices, it’s because I believe this deeply, that is the only part of the system that the people we designed for should ever be aware of And the input/output stuff is what shapes the perceptual model of what it is This is not a computer, it’s a watch My camera isn’t a computer, it’s a camera, because of how it’s packaged, because of the interactive mechanisms in the I/O And all the rest are essential Smaller, faster, cheaper, enables us to broaden the scope, so that technology helps, but to serve what end? To serve the way that can make the technology invisible, and realize, what I still believe, having worked with Mark on the ubiquitous computing, that the goal is to make the technology disappear And his metaphor of little, of electronic mortars is pretty good So why don’t we see that? How could we have seen, in the Proustian sense, through other eyes? And made this obvious, then all of us would have said, “Well, of course I/O’s the most important,” in terms of, from the human part of things Well, the key to the answer is in what I just said there, from the human side of things ‘Cause these first things were technological changes That’s technocentric But if we simply mean, “Oh, we’re talking the human side,” that’s what we’re supposed to do at CHI, then the real question is, who, and this is what’s changed since 1984, who’s doing what, where, when, why, how? You know, with whom? For how much? And that’s the part that we need to emphasize Then, what are the possibilities that we could and should be exploring in terms of improving that and channeling that notion of what can be done with whom, when, where, why, how And then, what’s the role of technology to enable that? The tail shouldn’t be wagging the dog Yes, the tail of technology’s not supposed to wag the dog of society So, one of my heroes is Melvin Kranzberg He’s a really great historian of technology, and this is his first law, and I like it a lot It comes back to what I was saying earlier “Technology is neither good nor bad, nor is it neutral.” It will be some combination of good or bad Now if that’s true, even if you’re introducing a paper clip into an office, you are changing the social order in some way of that organization, in the culture We’re not making paper clips, we’re making something far more So whether you like it or not, you can in fact design society, and you can design culture, and you, sorta say, “Well that’s really Orwellian,” no, we’re doing it anyhow We’re already doing it, simply by doing, introducing the stuff into society And the question is, it will have an impact, that’s just a law, I believe that’s a law The only question to me is, do we do it by design, or we do it by random accident, unaware completely of what we’re doing? Now as soon as I say that, I’m completely aware that we’re gonna get it wrong all the time, frequently That leads to Kranzberg’s second law, that invention is the mother of necessity If you don’t have a formal model and a theory motivating your decisions in the first place, we call that design rationale, about what’s good and bad, and an ethical scale or a value scale that’s sorta, how we rate things, which is explicit, how do we know, how do we learn from our mistakes? I don’t mind if you don’t get it right You’re trying to do the best thing, but you got it wrong But, historically, if you know why you did these things, and what theories, you will have from that model, it will improve But if you forget our history, it was for naught We’re just gonna screw up, screw up, screw up Or, we’ll gradually learn, but the rate of learning will be much slower

I’ve already done this, so, I’m gonna skip through that, because you know the answers already So what I wanna do, instead of blabbing, is (laughs), I didn’t just write this, is jump to the real deal I have this team, a couple of ’em are in the front row here, who have been working with me, there’s about seven people at Microsoft Research who have been really busting it for the last, over a month, to help build an archive So Disney started something that I hope is gonna help address, in a small way, some of what I’ve been talking about Because really, here’s the deal, it’s perfectly fair to say, if I’m sitting around whining, “Nobody knows the history, nobody knows “the history, how could the be so illiterate, “blah, blah, blah” and stuff like that, you say, “Bill, shut up.” Because there’s nothing there that teaches it And if the people who actually have collected it, don’t make it available, you can’t complain If there’s a resource there that helps in these different parts of the history, and be there in a consumable and useful, constructive way, then there’s less of an excuse not to know it In doing this website and trying to capture the dates and so on of the things that we are working on, I realize how incredibly bad things like Wikipedia and search engines are, in terms of finding out the truth, of dates and so on And so everybody has a history, and they read it on Wikipedia or this other place It’s this bad: (laughing) on the history of touch screens, I changed There’s one person who apparently invented touch in the mid 70’s, and is credited and makes sure that he’s credited all the time, and unfortunately I cited photographs and the literature that shows that the first touch screen in operation was done in Britain in 1965, by a guy named Johnson And the point is this, they kept changing it back to this person from 1975 When I said, “What the hell are you doing?” ‘Cause I found out who’s been doing it, says, “Well, you’re using primary references, “and that’s against the rules of Wikipedia, “you’re not allowed to, it has to be–” And I said, “But that’s hearsay.” Said, “That’s all we take.” And if you don’t give hearsay evidence, because if people don’t believe it’s true, it’s not true, they’ll remove your stuff This is what I encountered as I was putting this stuff together I was talking to Richard Harper at breakfast, he says, “Well how could you have been working “12 hours a day for the last six weeks “on this stuff, and that’s the kind of crap that, why?” I’m trying to find out, and in the process of finding out, I realized, this is what everybody else trying to find this out, even if they’re really well-intentioned, have to go through, and they may not have quite the patience, or the background in the scholarship side So here’s the deal, this is a work in progress The collection right now has about 250 things that we’ve documented, it’s already grown by a dozen things since yesterday, but we haven’t added them yet (laughs) Yeah, the other things came through too And, this is something called Pivot Viewer, and this is basically an image of everything, but I can just, you know, pick that, and there it is For every device in this thing, the network slows so it will res up much more quickly, but this is a fairly high-resolution image There’s stuff here, it’ll tell you what the device is, it’ll tell you the type by type, it’ll tell you the year it was done, and there’s more stuff here if you go, so you can, oh let’s do that just for fun And, it’ll pull up a page that eventually, for all of the stuff we’ve scanned the documentation, the users manuals, all that sorta, and all the information I’ve collected over the years, brochures from these products, so you can get a sense of that type of thing In some cases, clippings and so on We’re just trying to build an archive with a lot of the material that helps bring this, oh it’s really grinding, it’s really slow That was a bad idea. (laughs) I’ll just keep talking and pretend it’s not happening, that this is all part of the plan I come from Canada, and it snows here really lot, and I just thought I’d had some landscape photographs while we’re between the, uh, pages here The thing is that, we’ve captured this stuff, and what Pivot lets you do, really really rapidly (laughing) Alright, oh my network’s, there, that’s what it is – [Voiceover] Try this one

– Okay We’re gonna change networks, kids, and it’s gonna be great, and it’s gonna be worth the wait Hide the characters (laughing) I know, but I’m gonna go to a faster network, ’cause you guys are all tweeting and stuff like that I feel like Steve Jobs Let’s try this again Oh, give me a break I want my mummy (laughing) – [Voiceover] You have a stuck key – Yeah – [Voiceover] Try the windows key – (laughs) Thank you, Saul Greenberg I’ll try one more time here (beeping) Ah ha, yes, thank you So let’s see if this works, yes So I just selected mice, and it’ll pull up all the mice Then I can come in and uh (laughing) I love my life Listen, I have to tell ya, this is supposed to happen It’s supposed to happen to us, all the time, in public, so that we never start to believe and smoke our own fumes (clapping) So we never over-promise, and we realize we’re talking all these fancy-dancy things, fundamentals like this don’t work, and I’m perfectly happy for this to be happening to me because you’ll be damn sure I’m gonna be that more aggressive about doing what I can to fix it And if you don’t use your own stuff, it’s never gonna change (laughing) It’s just, oh man, give me a break And it’s going, and And it’s grinding, and it’s turning, has a great feedback Brad Myers published a paper on the notion of progress on I think we might go back to the old net and see if it works Okay Okay look, I’m not gonna do this The main thing here, is it does exist It does work, it is gonna get more stuff added to it as we go along, this is just our start We’re committed to that, and we’re committed to that because we believe this stuff’s important, and because we believe that everybody in the community, it’s important to all of us Why would Microsoft be spending time building up these resources? Because we benefit by having better informed people, students, and giving professors the chance to have the resources that they can then incorporate into their teaching, so that everybody wins, and us included, because we get more informed people coming in to the industry And even if those people go and help our competitors, that’s equally good, because that just pushes us all the harder And so it helps and because the real winners are the people who have the benefits of the products, that are built from people that have this little piece of things that are slightly better informed Now, what I think is important here, as you go through, I’m gonna walk you through some things,

verbally, that you can try upstairs So first of all, the Pivot Viewer’s upstairs, and where we’ve got it set up, with a few different whacked out input devices to control it, so instead of being hampered by a network, you’re going to have the constraints of, shall we say, of various technologies You can actually feel, while using something modern, what it’s like to use some of these other devices and get a sense, at a visceral level, about, that everything’s best for something and worst for something else I want you to go, there’s one place where we’ve got this, there’s some iPods, and there’s two of my favorite, favorite things there, beside them So there’s iPod generation one, generation two, generation three, generation four Touch the wheels You’ll realize that one of the most iconic things about the iPod, the first, the original iPods, was the scroll wheel And over the course of the first three and a half years, what did they change the most? The scroll wheel, think about that for a minute They were screwin’ around, and on the generation three, they really screwed around with the most iconic part of their design It’s fascinating First of all, they were their own biggest competitor, to drive innovation They were putting their last thing out of date, faster than anyone else could Somebody was gonna do it, it might as well be them This is one of my fundamental rules, by the way If you can see a way to shoot yourself in the foot, you are delusional if you think your competitors can’t see that or won’t see that as well So the only choice is, first decision is, do it yourself, because then, you get to choose which toe you can live without, and when (laughing) Okay, or you’re dead You’re gonna lose a toe anyhow, and maybe the whole foot So, they did it, that’s basically how they behaved But what I want ya to understand, is that Johnathan Ive is a classically trained designer who really knows the history And, other designers who also know the history, can see who he’s quoting and whose riffs he’s copying and then doing variations on as you and I can when you hear Jimi Hendrix or Eric Clapton, to know, you know, that’s Muddy Waters That’s a Bo Diddley leg In our music, we know the references that our rock and musician heroes are quoting But in our design, we don’t So here’s the deal, besides the first four generations of iPods, I own a Braun T3 transistor radio designed by Dieter Rams and released in 1958 And this transistor radio still works, it’s in mint condition, and you’ll look at it and you’ll say, “Oh, an iPod.” Because Dieter Rams was the head of design at Braun, and he is one of the most influential designers of the last, of the second half of the 20th century And he is Jonathan Ive’s biggest hero By the way, Dieter Rams says that Jonathan is his biggest hero It’s a mutual, there’s a nice little film called, Objectified, if you wanna watch that The key thing is, the form of the scroll wheel, and the form of the display, the form factors, the curves, the proportions, are all there, in 1958 See for yourself If you look at the iPod mini, when it came out I don’t have any iPod minis, but you can look at my website Actually, I’ll figure out how to put things that aren’t in the collection but are on the website You find, they have this problem, to have, by the way, if you’re wondering why I’m talking about Apple, because I think Jonathan Ives is one of the most influential designers of this century I think he’s an outstanding designer, and he’s a competitor and therefore if I speak about him positively, it will give more credibility than if I speak about the designs from people at Microsoft ‘Cause this transcends companies I’m trying to make a point here When he did the iPod mini, the point there was to appeal to women, and to move it to a different demographic to expand the market So the way he took this white thing, he made it smaller, and released it simultaneously in five colors Doing so, was a direct quote to what Walter Dorwin Teague did

when Kodak hired him in 1929 to take a black camera, called the Vest Jacket camera, and make it appeal to women And what he did, is he put it in nice boxes, with satin colored, solid colored satin things, and released it simultaneously in five different colors, and it was called the Kodak Vanity camera Oh, yeah five colors, five colors, that’s pretty interesting Oh, they were the same five colors (laughing) Now, if you went to computer science school, you’re absolutely excused from not knowing that Anybody who went to an industrial design school saw that and knew that immediately I have a friend who was actually from this community, who used to be head of research at Tectronics who happens to collect antique cameras the same way I collect this, and so he gave me photographs, and so I have a photograph of the five cameras juxtaposed You can find it on one of my Business Week columns there It’s just an important point What about the iPhone? No, there’s one more thing I’ll do before we go to the iPhone When the G5 Mac came out, remember it had the white form of an iPod I’ve got a poster there, it says, the tagline was this, “From the company that created the iPod.” Think about this a minute Apple Computer, had been selling computers since 1977, the Apple two came out In 2005, I think it was, releases a computer where they sell it by saying, “From the company that created the iPod.” The minute I saw that, I knew that the name Apple Computer was gonna go That was a complete change It’s unbelievable, a total shift in the brand Now the point is, is designers are trained to spot those things And here’s the interesting thing, was dropping the computer from the thing, and referring back to this object, was that against their brand? It was certainly against the notion of being a computer company, which was their history, which isn’t the same thing as their brand Their brand was, new, on the edge, changing So in fact by dropping their history, consciously, they were actually being more consistent with their brand, than had they kept their history as part Styles have changed, they weren’t going to wear bell bottoms anymore It’s not the 60’s And so, they did this thing called the iPhone If you’ve done your homework, you’ll know that Jonathan Ive joined Apple back in 1995 when John Sculley was president, I think it was ’95, I might be slightly off by a year or two, but John Sculley was president then He was there throughout the entire decline of Apple Apple was gonna go broke It turned around He worked on the second generation on of the Newton, that’s how long he was there, he was working on the Newton Now there’s a product that he was aware of, certainly I’m gonna describe a phone to you, as soon as you know this phone, ’cause it’s obvious, all of us know this of course It only has two buttons It’s got a volume control, and it’s got an on/off switch Everything else is just a big touch screen And on the touch screen, you’ve got a, it’s a whole smart phone, you’ve got everything with icons, and you’ve got your notebook, you got your calender, you can make phone calls, you can have all your to-do lists, and you can read other documents, you can get apps for it, stuff like that Now what might a phone like that be called? You’re not gonna answer me ’cause you know it’s not the iPhone Well it was the world’s first smartphone, that was shown first in 1993 That’s three years before the Palm Pilot came out, by the way, and it was called the Simon It was made by IBM I have two working ones upstairs What I want to say is, is I’m not trying to single out John, except he’s well known, and by somebody where you’ll believe what I’m saying, because he’s not from my company, is to say that every designer works this way He’s quoting his heroes, the things he respects, and giving a new twist to it, because that’s what music, art, theater, dance, painting, cinema, architecture, et cetera, have always done,

as opposed to doing alchemy and just inventing the iPhone out of the blue And those who are trained in the art recognize that and recognize the sources, and those who want to innovate and teach innovation, we need to have those models available as examples for our students as well as ourselves, so that we make sure they understand what the nature of the process is My view is this, if it’s okay for Jonathan Ive not to be 100% original, you know, damn it, it’s good enough for me And it should be good enough for anyone in this room, or anyone in this country, or anyone in this continent Every once in a while, there’ll be an outlier, a Bill Gates or a Wayne Gretzky, who does something on their own I can’t explain it, I admire it, I’m held in wonder by it, but I’m not going to invest in it Because, you know, you could sell your house and all your stuff and take your 401K, or as we call here, your RSP, and put it and buy a lottery ticket, and if you win, that was the smartest investment strategy and the fastest gain, in terms of percentage points on your savings, your retirement plan is set But that’s called gambling, that’s not called investment I wanna invest in the future, I wanna invest in our students, and the only way I know how to do that is by giving them the proper kind of analysis about what is actually happening How do the best designers work? And they work like musicians, and they work like Jonathan, they work like me If you, everything, and the reason I started by saying, at this National Research Council it was there, I’m tellin’ ya, that’s shaped almost everything that got me started, and then I met Ron Becker, and then the experience from what was going on with the TX-2 and that, I started to draw on that It was creative theft all the way along I don’t think I’ve ever had an original idea I’ve just worked around smart people that taught me stuff through experience that I could then consolidate That’s the process, and that’s not the process we teach What we’ve tried to do here is build a resource that makes that possible, or easier, or just helps fill in the gaps I think at this point, I’m happy we’ve got some time, if you want to ask any questions I’m not sure, I didn’t say anything probably that’s so much a question, but if you wanna have a conversation about any of this stuff, or you wanna ask me about what else is here and so on My goal with this stuff is to actually, we’re gonna keep building the website, we’re gonna keep adding Of all these dead computers, most of them work, some of them don’t If anybody’s really good at making things work again, I’d be happy to loan them to you, you can bring them up and then photograph, and then I wanna make video tapes of the actual workings of these machines before they’re completely, you know, they’ve gone dead and never, to be lost forever But we’re committed to putting videos on this, and photographing We’re committed to keep adding to the collection If anybody has a Xerox Star 8010 mouse, the optical mouse that used the paper thing, please donate it to me I promise, we’re gonna give the collection away, well, I won’t put it that way I don’t want this stuff in my basement Let me put that a different way I wanna stay married (laughing) So I’d like to find a home, and we’re looking about how we can put this so people can have access to the physical artifacts and so on, but right now you gotta know about them So, this isn’t about Microsoft, that is, other than the fact we’re the conveyor, I’ve started it, but I really want that Xerox optical mouse I’m just kicking myself for not having taken one when I left There’s a few other things like that that are just, I’ve been searching really hard to find, ’cause they’re really interesting Oh, I know what I forgot to do So we’re sitting here just, let me give you a sense Do you wanna come up, for just a minute? So, I was sitting here this morning, and I’m really bad with names, ’cause I’m so frazzled about my network It’s John, right? – [Voiceover] No, it’s Jim – Jim, okay, so Jim Lewis, turns out, he was one of the designers of the Simon, 1993 And so I figured, if you could talk in one of those microphones, then we– – Sure – And so, we’ve never, other than here, we’ve just met But talk about (laughs), putting someone on the spot So, how did you get them to make it a product? I mean, forget building the damn thing or engineering,

how the hell did management buy into it in 1993, having a totally touch screen smartphone, when there weren’t any smartphones to think about? How did that happen? – You know, it’s consistent with many of the things you’ve been talking about this morning – Do you want a hand-held? – What’s that? – He’ll give you a hand-held if you want it – Oh, thanks, yeah, that’ll work out Is this okay, oh yeah We can sit down – [Voiceover] Yeah sure We could have water, this is great – Yeah, take a break You know, when you were talking about these things, I was reminded of, I think, the quote that’s attributed to Newton, that is if he has seen so far, it’s because he’s on the shoulders of giants, right? In our case, we did have what I thought was a visionary on the team, a guy named Frank Kenova, and by the way, after all of this stuff at IBM, you mentioned this happened before the Palm Pilot, that was where he went, so he carried some of these things along with him He was a brilliant engineer So, you know, I’m a human factors guy I wasn’t necessarily involved in the initial concept This thing was going when I got brought into it So, the way that I got into it, was they came to the human factors department I was in, and said, “Do you have anybody here who could tell us “how small we can make a touch screen button “and it still be usable?” – So, the thing that was really interesting to me is that, and I’ve talked to Schumann a lot about some of this stuff My understanding was that, from the human factors, the first thing is that’s really interesting, some of this great design was happening, was informed by really, science, it wasn’t just some art school designers and visionaries You were doing serious CHI type of work, and human factors at that time – Right – And it goes back to, did you work on the keyboards, as well? – I was working on keyboards and touch screens when they came to our department to talk about this, so that was how I wound up catching the question – By the way, this is a quick aside, this is the part of the history that gets lost My understanding is, but I’ve never spoken to anybody about it first hand, is that IBM spent almost as much time designing the sound of the click, on say the selector or some of the keyboards, and how the snap on the tactile side and the human factor stuff as they did on a lot of the other parts That was fundamental, just subtle things like, what was the sound of the click, and when did it snap, and what was the force – There was a technology that IBM had for quite a while, it was called buckling spring technology, and the design of that was carefully constructed to provide the appropriate acoustic feedback and to give the kind of tactile feedback so that you could rest your hands on the keyboard, they wouldn’t fall through, but, you know, almost, an analogy I can almost think of is a, not a long bow, but, what’s the other kind of bow? – Crossbow? – Not crossbow, the one with all the levers and pulleys and stuff, compound bow, right? So that you’ve gotta pull against it a certain amount, and then it goes easy A similar kind of structuring, but not with levers and pulleys, with a thing called the buckling spring – So what was it like, then, to go from having come from the mechanical keyboard, it’s really an interesting transfer of skill and insight, to how do you deal with the touch things? – Well, you know in my case it was going from keyboards, and then just generally being the input guy, to mice and touch pads, to touch screens There was a product I’d worked on just before we went to Simon that was called Road Rider The idea here was that it was specifically for long-haul truck drivers, and to be the means of communication and re-routing and things like that But, in that case, we had to have a user interface that would be appropriate to that specific kind of environment So, there were satellite, they were connected by satellite to a home base, and all of the information that was being transmitted and for them to transmit back was being done through a touch screen tablet – Did you know, did the team know that they were working on something just, of just historical and,

recognized or not, but of historical importance? So just like, did they realize how amazing it was at the time? – I think that it was actually seen more as, I mean, there was some thought about that, but you never think about that when it’s happening It was more of looking at this as being a blend of the cellular telephony, which was coming along We were looking at the Simon, I mean not the Simon, we were looking at the Newton, you know, as far as it’s touch screen and user interface characteristics There were some other devices, one by HP, that was a, you know, a calender and to-do list and things like that, so that one of the activities we went through was do usability testing with, develop our scenarios of use, to run people through the various kinds of tasks that we thought we were moving towards with these different devices, to try and understand their weaknesses and strengths – And so is that probably why you decidedly, maybe Doonesbury convinced you that, not to put script or character recognition? – [Voiceover] It was both Doonesbury and our own testing – Yeah – For those who are not familiar with the reference, people know about Doonesbury and the Newton? I actually think that Doonesbury may have had a lot to do with the eventual fall of the Newton but we’re running out of time? – Yep – Okay – Are we running out of time? – [Voiceover] We actually do have a couple minutes I was wondering if you guys would take some questions – Yeah, sure, open up, yes, go – So we do have microphones up and down the aisles, if there are questions for all speakers Feel free to hang up here, Jim – [Voiceover] Oh okay, I’ll stay here just in case – Please do – [Voiceover] Microphone four – [Voiceover] Not so much a question, but a comment Bill, are you familiar with DigiBarn? – [Voiceover] Yes – [Voiceover] Okay, so just as long as you know about them, because I visited them, I took them an old Cromemco computer that works, and an HP 95-LX that still worked, and a bunch of other things that I had hanging around in my basement that my wife wanted me to get rid of (laughing) And, basically, just for the audience, DigiBarn is in Silicon Valley, it’s in the Santa Cruz mountains, hidden away You have to drive 25 miles from Stanford to get there through these windy roads, and it’s this guy who’s basically a hoarder of computer equipment, who has made peace with his wife, and he’s constructed a separate barn for that purpose, and originally it was just a hoarded collection of old computer equipment, but now, he’s monetized it by being a resource for lawyers who are looking for prior art, and also for movies who are looking, we wanna make a movie about the 80’s and we have to have 80’s style computers, and so he rents stuff out for that purpose too It’s an amazing place to go and look around But he doesn’t have the organization, I don’t think, that you have, and I think that if you and he sort of got together, you could make great things – Yeah, I’m gonna go talk to him It’s a long, but also I left something out, by the way One of the reasons I collected and put out the devices was also ’cause they’re smaller than computers So, yeah, DigiBarn, there’s another thing called oldmouse.com that’s got really a lotta good information too, yeah – [Voiceover] Hi, I’m David Greer, and for the purposes of this talk, I’m the former editor of the Annals of the History of Computing, which for a shameless plug, is available on project muse or the IEEE digital library I am obviously quite sympathetic to the message you’re giving, but in writing about it and thinking about it, it would require a radical re-thinking of how we educate technologists today, because right now everyone in this room had an education that drew a little circle around them so they could focus on a problem, solve the problem, and be done Talking about it’s not gonna change it What do you think will? – I think the I have a concise way of answering this It’s absolutely clear since the time of Voltaire, or maybe earlier, it was the last time everybody could know everything or be fully literate The renaissance is over But the way I like to say it, is sorta like, the king is dead, long live the king The renaissance is over, long live the renaissance, but not the renaissance, the renaissance person, man or woman, is dead, but the renaissance team is not The first thing we have to build up is literacy, not It’s the difference between literacy and expertise I do not want all the students to be experts in history, because it’s that whole T-shaped thing You need deep, deep knowledge to solve, to deal with the various kinds of, in a range of things, to solve the problems we have today What I do want, is literacy, the narrow thing, so that we respect and understand the importance of the history, and so we make sure

that within our community, the immediate team, we have at least that expertise represented So it’s not necessarily a general expertise in the history, but we need a specific expert in, for the renaissance team that’s got this more general base, so you get deep and broad And I think that’s the best we can do So the first thing we do here is, my purpose today isn’t, obviously, to get everybody to turn around to become a historian, but rather, to understand it’s importance and to have it’s voice at the table, on a par with technology and to help inform the various decision making, and help shape the vision But I think you’re right I mean, there’s great stories here in terms of, from your publication, but, you know, the history of the trackball, that’s really fascinating, because it’s actually 1952, it was invented in Canada It used the Canadian five-pin bowling ball as the trackball It went to the Saber systems for air-traffic control, and then it went to Germany Telefunk and used them in their systems, and then our scientists there in 1968 turned the trackball upside down and made a mouse independent of Engelbart In 1968, there was a roller-ball mouse It was not until 1972 that Holley and Bill English made one in North America, and they’re generally credited with being the first one, but they weren’t And it came by turning a trackball upside down, it was called a Rollkugel, which is the German word for trackball But anyhow, and that was all published, and we don’t know it, I didn’t know it until not long ago So it’s important Literacy, I think, is the first step to, to just making sure it’s represented, yeah – [Voiceover] So I’m really glad you found your AT-550 I was actually keeping my eyes peeled for one for you – (laughs) Oh yeah, thanks – [Voiceover] So my question is, I was wondering how related work sections in our papers serve a similar or different purpose Like, do you think they are insufficient, and how can they be improved? – I think the major thing in our papers in our community is that we have deep knowledge of, and I’m going to credit this with my buddy, Saul Greenberg, who said this more clearly than I had, my thinking We have deep knowledge about the published literature and the peer-reviewed literature We have, it’s rare to cite patent, the patent literature in CHI papers, and it’s always considered somewhat dubious, and almost never have I seen a product cited in the peer-reviewed literature as a citation, and we don’t have as much knowledge about things that were in products For example, my own case, the swipe thing, when you have photographs, and go swipe like that, swipe like that, we built a product called the Portfolio while at Alias that had that in 1998 or 1999, but we didn’t publish it, it didn’t seem important enough to publish just doing that, but apparently, in terms of the legal profession, it was But there’s this other part where we need to bring in, we were doing those things, they were actually generalizations of marking menus, and so this notion that you can have swipes of different directions, have different, invoke different commands, being something other than just marking menus that don’t, or radio menus that don’t leave a track I mean, everybody in this community knows that’s all it is So it’s hard I think we need to look more closely at, for those of us who are reviewers, we should accept products citations as well as patents And those of us who are authors, we should start to include more of them, and actually use that in scanning the literature Graffiti on a palm pilot goes back to a slave of Cicero, named Marcus Tullius, in 63 AD, who invented a short-hand, single-stroke notation called Notae Tironianae, it was used to record the minutes of the Roman Senate, and was commonly used up until the 11th century when it was banned as the instrument of the devil by the Pope But the patent office didn’t know about the minutes of the Roman Senate when the Xerox and Palm were having this dispute over the graffiti, which cost 30 million dollars about, on each side in that case, on something that was patently obvious, if you knew the history – [Voiceover] So let’s do one more – [Voiceover] I really enjoyed your talk The question is to do with the speed of evolution rather I mean, when we talk about literacy, and also when we look at it from the point of view of consumers, you get used to a particular technology, you throw it out, and then, something new comes out Unless you really experience these things, it’s difficult to really keep track of history, because of this evolution How do you see it, and other than what you are doing, creating collections, what other ways are there? – Thank you, that’s a great way to end That’s a great question, thank you, thank you So, this is the deal As I see it, is that, your key word there was experiencing

So I wrote this book on sketching, and I have to tell ya, actually, if there’s nobody here from Martin Kaufmann, I’ll say this, ’cause I really don’t wanna do a second edition (laughs) I screwed up, on something I’d already, I knew, and I forgot to write about it Sketching, fast, quick, I draw In music, when I was building synthesizers, we had things that were called synthesizers You synthesized sound out of geometric functions and you were a synthesist And then along came this company, Fairlight was the first one, but they were too expensive so nobody really had access to it, but the emulator, it was this sampler And it just sampled sounds through a microphone and you play them on the keyboard There was a thing called a Mellotron that was a predecessor of that, but you notice what I’m doing, I’m saying, here, there’s predecessor, there’s a history, there’s a context, and that was samplers But in my snobbish, stuck-up world, you weren’t a real man if you couldn’t synthesize Those samplers, they were just a buncha wanna-be’s who were too stupid to learn how to synthesize, and so they would just go take the cheap way out And there was just two things, like, they were just, it was like a religious war between the musician community, at the time I’m older and wiser now, and of course, it makes no difference, just, whatever works Ebay is the best sketching tool for sampled sketches around, so you can buy these things, and you don’t have to build anything, and you can actually experience them I walk around with six watches with me in my briefcase all the time, and anybody who knows me, knows that I can pull these things, I have stuff like, I get in a conversation about this stuff, I can reach into my briefcase and pull them out and say, “Here, try these, and you experience it, “viscerally, as opposed to intellectually.” So the first thing is, some of these historical artifacts just search on Ebay, and you will find a huge amount of them 3D interface, get the DataRover from Magic Cap, 3D interface with a touch screen and pen It’s fantastic, I bought a brand new one for $27 Student comes out, has this great new idea, here, try this (laughing) So this is one way I have these things around my office to provoke conversations, but also to let people actually experience it It’s called experience design, and Jimi Hendrix asked the most important question about acquiring the skills when he asked the question, “Are you experienced?” And the broader your base of experience is, in actual terms, as opposed to intellectual experience, gives you the broader base to inform your design, that’s intended explicitly to shape experience of the people who use the product And so, I don’t build stuff unless I can’t find an existing thing Often, it’s cheaper and faster to go out and find these things, than to build it in-house, but that helps me It doesn’t mean I don’t build things, it means that when I do the sketches, I can start at a much higher level because I’ve got this scattering of things that I’ve experienced, that I’ve acquired around the thing we’re doing, and then go Upstairs, two examples, and then I’m gonna shut up There’s a chess set, that I bought when George Fitzmaurice was doing his PHD thesis and what was called Graspable Interfaces and Hiroshi Ishii was in my lab at the same time, and what grew into tangible computing That chess set was a major thing in informing, in the context, intellectual context, and the experiential context, out of which George’s PHD Thesis and Hirohsi’s work on graspable grew out of When George Fitzmaurice, Gordon Kurtenbach, and Raven and so on were working on these holographic, spherical displays, the stuff that Banko’s been working on more recently I bought a globe that’s upstairs, that has a stylus on it, because that globe, which is just a children’s toy, is in fact, answers the question, what would it be if you had a Wacom tablet that was spherical, instead of flat? Oh, and by the way, what if it wasn’t a tablet, what if it was like a pen screen, a Cintiq, that was spherical? It just happens that the Cintiq isn’t dynamic, it’s just got the static display And so we could walk and realize, oh, it’s really different if you can spin it, instead of just walking around this way like a hologram, I could spin it, and that informs it So that’s the thing, you go and you collect One of the most important things is to be a collector, and that’s what you’ll see in every film studio, every animation studio, every advertising studio, every graphic arts studio, every industrial design studio, the walls are covered with reference objects Some are synthesized, and some are sampled, and what I’m suggesting here is that,

the sampled stuff, by definition, has to come from the historical archive And Ebay is one of the greatest tools we have to help expand that, and I’ve taken, I gotta tell ya, really full advantage of it upstairs, as I hope you will see Thank you, and I’m gonna be there nearly all through CHI, when the thing’s open I’m happy to share my enthusiasm with you, and I hope it’s contagious, thank you very much (applause) – It’s always a treat, thanks Bill So room 201, later this afternoon and for the rest of the conference, Bill will be up there with the devices most of the time Swing by, and have a great rest of the conference