Saturday, August 11, 2012

iPhone Finger Swiping Art Project

As I was fiddling with my iPhone the other day, I had the notion that I was doing an awful lot of finger swipes.  I swipe to open the phone, swipe to change pages, punch icons to open apps, swipe to scroll up and down.  It got me to thinking.  What do all my collective finger swipes look like?

If I were in an application like DrawSomething, all of my finger swiping would be recorded as me making art.  But what about all the OTHER finger swipes?  To run the iPhone and check the weather or play games or read an internet article - no matter what you do you have to swipe on the touchscreen.

My idea is to record this data for a fixed period of time (say, five minutes).  Then the user could start the application and see a condensed version of their finger swiping as a visual piece of art.  It could be a still frame of the entire time, or it could be an animation, with different colors every few seconds, possibly set to music.

A friend raised the objection that this would be similar to tracking users' keyboard input - that is, a record of every button pressed.  But it's not the same, not by a long shot.  What's great about this idea is that because everyone's Smart Phone is configured differently (the placement of our apps is very different) and how users use their phone varies widely as well, the visual imagery generated by a person's finger swipes would only be meaningful to that person.  ("Hey, that's when I was playing Angry Birds!  And that's when I was reading The New York Times!")

We are all of us artists in one way or another.  This app would just be evidence supporting the point.

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