Advancing Technologies: The Deception of Perception


Advancing Technologies: The Deception of Perception

We define a tool by its physical attributes, what we perceive the tool to be visually. Through individual experience, our perception will change based on sensory interaction and the mental model that we create.

What is a screwdriver? A pair of scissors? What about a calculator?

The first thing that comes to mind is most likely a visual imagery. This is because language, the words we use to describe the objects that we interact with is a tool itself. A tool designed to allow us to communicate with each other. This tool relates sound with visual imagery, allowing others to understand our experiences without the need to be physically present or relive the moment. Although this is an efficient system, it introduces an inherent problem as perception varies from person to person.

Imagine that each of the five senses are on a variable scale. These values will be different for every individual in the world. The variation between individuals would be referred to as sensitivity, and in some cases, impairment. This can become an issue for many reasons.

The more sensory data that we have about an object or idea, the more we feel like we “understand” it. With this said, it is safe to assume that sensory impairment could cause an imbalanced perception of objects between a group of individuals. This results in communication that is both unreliable and inefficient.

I do not write this to propose that I have a better solution. I'm not even sure that one exists. Instead, I believe that this is an important concept to keep in mind as we work together to create and design new solutions, and the future of our technology.

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