The Stanchion Computer 2019

Three questions emerged from the development of the mouseless keyboard, which were interested in developing further:

1) What other strategies might we develop for designing interfaces that hide in plain sight? What new strategies could we design for ubiquitous computing?

2) How might we radically simplify the user interface, perhaps developing design modalities that went beyond the “rectangle in your pocket” or “Skype on a stick?” How might we radically rethink the norms of laptop and desktop computer interfaces?

3) How might we develop an inexpensive public computer. How might these computers delimit space and assist in wayfinding?

The mouse and keyboard are so common that they are taken for granted as one of the basic conventions of modern personal computers. Our goal was to explore a radically different configuration for human-machine interfaces, while building upon the conventions so familiar to most people.

The Stanchion Computer is a low cost, public computing platform. It not only explores a radically new configuration for the screen and mouse, which is eliminated in favor of a mouseless keyboard and wall projection, it also employs a standing configuration, and is battery powered, so it can be situated in nearly any environment. The elimination of horizontal surfaces, such as table tops or desks allows for myriad applications that go well beyond conventional interfaces.

Like the velvet rope that is linked together with stanchions, a stanchion computer can also delimit space. Although public wayfinding was our initial user scenario, we envision many design applications and research directions that this kind of human-machine interface can be applied to.