Monday, May 15, 2006
nimio is a system comprised of a series of physical objects designed as individual playthings, but wirelessly networked via RF to act as both input and output devices for a collective visualization of distributed activity. These hand-held, translucent silicone toys have embedded sensors (for input) and 3 colors of LEDs (for output) which allow them to be reactive to both sound and touch. Action around one of the nimios will cause the others to glow in different patterns and colors. The interaction design is deliberately open-ended, in order to allow the emergence of distinctive patterns of collaborative engagement in real groups.
We designed and built nimio for a group of ten people who manage a multi-disciplinary information technology research institute. They reside in two spacious suites across the hall from each other and so, while they are in relative proximity, they are often out of ear-shot or sight of one another.