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Implicit Interaction

The Implicit Interaction project develops novel technologies which can act implicitly, without the need for a disruptive interface.

The “Internet of things” offers much potential in terms of automating and hiding much of the tedium of our everyday lives. It is predicted to revolutionise logistics, transportation, electricity consumption in our homes, connectivity - even the management of homes. Yet these systems are beset with manifest human interaction problems The fridge warns you with a beep if you leave the door open, the washing machine signals when it is finished, or even chainsaws now warns you when you have been using them for too long. Each individual system has been designed with a particular, limited, interaction model: the smart lighting system in your apartment has not been designed for the sharing economy, the lawn mower robot might run off and leave your garden. Different parts of your entertainment system turn the volume up and down and fail to work together. Each 'smart object comes with its own form of interaction, its own mobile app, its own upgrade requirements and its own manner of calling for users’ attention. Interaction models have been inherited from the desktop-metaphor, and sometimes mobile interaction have their own apps that use non-standardised, icons, sounds or notification frameworks. When put together, the current forms of smart technology do not blend, they cannot interface one-another, and most importantly, as end-users we have to learn how to interact with them each time, one by one. In some senses this is like personal computing before the desktop metaphor, the Internet before the web, or mobile computing before touch interfaces. In short, IoT lacks its killer interface paradigm.


Project name

Implicit Interaction



RISE role in project


Project start




KTH, Stockholms universitet

Magnus Sahlgren

Contact person

Magnus Sahlgren

Senior Researcher

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