Embodied Interaction

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Embodied interaction is the creation, manipulation and sharing of meaning through engaged interaction with artifacts. Embodied interaction is when people interact mentally and physically with technology. It is when people use technology along with themselves to interact with either virtual people or real people. It can involve using your whole body, and not just your hands and eyes. Embodied interaction is a position in cogitative science and the philosophy of the mind emphasising the role that the human body plays in shaping the mind. This can be used in science, robotics, music and gaming.



Embodied Interaction originates from the words 'embodiment', and the phrase 'to interact'. Embodiment is the representation of man. To interact is to physically or verbally communicate with others. Embodied Interaction is becoming an important part of our everyday life. Embodied interaction has mainly succeeded in gaming, and robotics in surgery. A huge market has developed and improvements are constantly being made.


Science / Robotics

Due to advances in medical technology, further improvements are constantly being made. As a result of the addition of medical nanotechnology to existing knowledge of molecular and cellular biology, it seems likely that new, personalised, more accurate and more rapid diagnostic techniques will be devised in the future. Doctors control the actions of the medical robots which perform the tasks with accuracy that the hand could never achieve. The success of applicable surgeries has increased hugely since the introduction of robotics.

Example-Phantom Limb

•Combat phantom limb pain: soldiers may now be able to utilize virtual reality to cope with phantom pain from amputated limbs.

•Scientists at The University of Manchester are using 3D computer graphics to combat the pain suffered by amputees.

•Academics from the School of Computer Science and School of Psychological Sciences have developed a virtual reality system, which creates the illusion that a person's amputated limb is still there.

Phantom Limb GP8.jpg


Embodied music integration is when our body relates to musical activities. It considers the human body as the natural mediator between mind (focused on musical intentions, meanings, and significations) and physical environment (containing musical sound and other types of energy that affords human action).

Example –Portable digital drum kit

•After 20 months and 200 million dollars, the "Harmonic Music System" released the drum kit in 2006.

•To use this drum, the user taps on the many pads which use technology to create different drum beats. The noise is created by the interaction between the user and the console. The technology emits the sound rather then the usual sound created by the vibrations of a real drum beat.

•This is compact in size making it easy to transport but still as effective as a normal drum kit.

•The user, using their own rhythm and freedom of movement, can control the success or failure of the music which uses both body and mind to be created.

Digital Drum kit 2006 GP2.jpg


Embodied interaction has become a huge aspect of the gaming world. People want to physically take part in the game, and not just mentally participate. A lot of games now involve physical tasks designed to test your abilities not just your mental capacity. Technology today allows the games to record your movements making the games more and more realistic. Games are now designed for interaction with a group of people in your company or in other countries.

Example The Wii

Nintendo developed a console that was top of the Christmas list in 2006 was that of the Nintendo Wii, which aimed on focusing on a new form of player interaction.

•The game involves the person using their physical strength to complete virtual tasks.

•The most popular game was Wii Sport. Players use the Wii wireless remote to mimic actions preformed in actual sports such as tennis baseball, bowling, golf and boxing. The rules of the game are simple making it a family product, catering to all ages.

•The player uses the Wii remote and nun-chucks attachment to control the actions of your virtual character. The player moves the remote in similar manner to how the game is played in real life.

•After completing every game a player is either rewarded, or penalised, with skill points based their performance. It has now become a world phenomenon.

The Wii GP11.jpg


• We used mega gadget to research advances in robotics in medicine -- http://medgadget.com/

• We used synthopia to see the new interactive musical instruments -- http://www.synthtopia.com/

• We used Science daily to study embodied interaction in science -- http://www.synthtopia.com/

• We used “Where the action is” by Paul Dourish for information on embodied interaction

• We studied “International journal of human computer interaction” by Lawrence Erlbaum for information on computer interaction

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