In Chris Crawford’s “The art of interactive design”, he writes about things that are mistakenly perceived as interactive and it made me re-think about different products.
For example, the magic 8ball, one of my all time favourite objects and a life companion – is it interactive? When I ask the 8ball a question, It responds to a energy produced by my hand, and replies and with an answer. In a way, it is speaking to me, we are having a conversation. but can a random text be considered as speaking?
The 8 ball does not process my question. The answers are chosen by chance and therefore it only creates the illusion that it’s listening to me. Maybe it’s a bit like the un-listening jerk that Crawford mentions, not a good conversation partner.
On the other hand, it does process some of my input – the physical aspect of it, translating the energy of my hand gesture in order to shuffle some possibilities and I cannot predict the answer for sure.
Although it does not think and listen in the traditional way in order to process the question we ask, I would say the 8 ball is very good in making us believe that it does.