Dezeen and MINI Frontiers: the way we interact with technology "needs to be updated", according to Talia Radford of taliaYstudio, who shows us two of her studio's projects that enable people to take a photo by kissing rather than pressing a button.
"Everything is moving so fast and you can do so many things now with technology," says Radford, who spoke to us at Ventura Lambrate in Milan earlier this month. "But we're still interacting with it as if it was 50 years ago. It needs to be updated."
Radford was showing the latest version of her Vienna-based studio's project Thermobooth at Ventura Lambrate, a photo booth that takes a picture when two people touch, such as when they hold hands or kiss.
"It's one of the projects where we're working on more human-based interactions with technology," Radford explains. "To take a photo of the moment, instead of pressing a button, you take the photo through your own gestures."
An earlier version of the project taliaYstudio developed with designer Jonas Bohatshc worked by completing an electrical circuit when people touch each other, but the latest incarnation uses a hacked Kinect motion-sensing device, originally developed by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 gaming system.
"It reads contours at a certain distance that we've programmed," Radford explains. "When those two contours become one through touching, it tells the computer to tell the camera to take a picture."
The booth features an array of reflective OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes) made by German lighting manufacturer Osram, an extremely flat light source that emits light across a surface rather than from a point.
"It goes back to the 'selfie' culture that was going on last year," Radford says. "You've got these huge mirrors where you can check yourself out and then they're also the flash."
Radford also used OLEDs in her Holdables project, a series of high-tech prototype accessories that she launched in Milan, including a camera with an enlarged viewfinder that you kiss to take a photo.
"[Holdables] also explores the gestural interaction with technology," she says. "This time we're using transparent OLEDs. We've got a camera and the OLED is the viewfinder and the flash, but we changed it also into a touch sensor - no-one's ever done that with OLEDs before."
She continues: "There is a serious undertone to it, which is to show the potential of the lighting technology, but we're wrapping it in something that people can understand. We're translating the social media language of 'I like' or 'I heart' into a gesture. When you see something you really like, or you really love, you kiss it."
Dezeen and MINI Frontiers is a year-long collaboration with MINI exploring how design and technology are coming together to shape the future.