Look, no hands

Michelle Vandy is a designer that found an alternative way to interact with her computer after suffering from repetitive strain injury. As an illustrator she worked so hard, that her right arm started tingling and cramping. She barely could type anymore. She then learned to work with her other arm, but eventually her left arm started hurting as well.

Being a highly creative individual, she started trying other options. Using a stylus in her mouth, drawing with her toes (made me think of the movie “My left foot“), eye-tracking tools, voice dictation, motion sensors (Leap Motion); she tried them all, but eventually the best alternative turned out to be her nose. Michelle set up a Apple Magic trackpad on a tripod in front of her computer and has used it for design work ever since. It turns out that she has a lot of precision in her head. “The tip of a nose is kind of like a finger”, she discovered.

Check out her wonderful video:

Great coconut illustration (nose drawn!):

Very detailed illustration of an avocado (nose drawn!):

I find it really inspiring to see her creativity to continue her drive to create. From an interaction design standpoint it’s a fresh insight into optimising an interface. New technologies (Touch, Voice) enable new Human Computer interaction and it’s very inspiring to take new approaches into account. When I read her story I could help thinking about how people tried to use alternative body parts as an Apple TouchId input. This special story reminds us that there is more than the traditional ways for interaction with a computer.