Mac’s petit inventions: Light user interfaces

Mac’s Petit Inventions

Mac Funamizu shares with us his design ideas. He looks at everyday things and envisions their future.

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Are there ways to have better and more interesting interaction with your lights? That’s what I tried to investigate when I came up with two new inventions, the Touch Switch and Desktop Lamp. Let me know what you think.

Touch Switch

Nobody likes switching on and off all the wrong lights in order to find the right switch. Could a light switch that looks like a trackpad of a laptop solve this? Where you just drag your finger towards the light you want to turn on/off. I thought so…

And could all the relative positions of the lights appear on a screen like this?



Desktop Lamp

One of the biggest annoyances with lamps it that you can’t always control where the light falls. You always have to make a choice between a focused or general light on your desk. But what if you could constantly change this? If a very light material could be used for the light, a desktop lamp like this might be possible.

The lit area can be controlled with the usual “pinch” gesture.

To turn up/down the light, draw a circle clockwise/counter-clockwise.

Mac Funamizu

Mac is an in-house web/graphic designer working in Tokyo, Japan. In his free time he invents new products and interactions.

5 comments on this article

  1. Pingback: Multitouch im Produktdesign… : Seminare: »Geschichte der Zukunft«

  2. Letsgo on

    Nice idea but sometimes I like to switch on or turn knobs and switches. Maybe I’m a little bit notalgic, but I would hate it if everything would be to minimal and to ‘internal’.

  3. Ryan Schipper on

    I like the second idea.

    The first idea doesn’t sit well with me. Dragging my finger (in a pointing style) is an analog operation, whilst switching a light on or off is digital. It doesn’t seem intuitive.

    I imagine a screen showing the lights in a room and it’s relative location could work effectively – something like coloured circles on a floor plan.

    Then, I simply touch the light, as displayed on the screen, to turn on/off.

  4. Thomas White on

    Think of how many ways a light switch is used: The elbow when you’ve got an armful of grocieries; ‘from memory’ – i.e. how many times have you looked elsewhere while your hand reaches back behind you to flick on the light of the room you’ve just walked in to; sometimes far more brutally with a flying kick or well-placed heel or knee; and many more ways. I like the idea, but… will it survive?

    Nice designs though, thank you!

  5. Dee on

    Interesting ideas, but are giving them away for free? If you don’t already have patent protection of some form then the ideas are no longer patentable.
    New Inventions