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Composition for Multimodal Technology

Exploring the expanding craft of communcation

Ashley O'Brien, Author
A New Inquiry, page 1 of 13
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Engagement is a flexible commitment from a user.

Flexible functionality

Visual, auditory and sensual features of multimodal technology can combine or align in combinations of ways, producing a wide variety of different scenarios. Since users will engage with their wearable devices in unique contexts, it's likely no two user experiences will be exactly the same. Multimodal technology has the opportunity to function flexibly, as minimal or expansive as the user's willingness to engage. Writers and developers for multimodal technology design for a marketable usefulness for certain tasks, but the unique path (or the mode) within each use is an exchange between the user and the device.

Intermittent and instantaneous

A reader is confined to conventional contexts for print media, but wearable technologies are designed for intermittent, instantaneous engagement in potentially endless contexts. It is unlikely a surgeon holds a book between his face and an incision--because print is not designed with affordances to utilize certain environments where watches and wristbands, even vibrating smart rings, can thrive. Engagement is as relative as concentration, and distractions should always be a consideration for multimodal technologies.

Inviting your imagination

Radio Lab aired a talk about morality. The Trolley Problem is described first in this segment, which you will see on the next page in your path. The first few minutes of the show contain auditory content I want you to listen to. Your unique perception of voices (tone, influx, tempo) and sound effects (scripted and unscripted) is an example engagement, and how different pieces of content built-in to the message can be effective or ineffective depending on your imagination.
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Engagement (12 May 2015)
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Discussion of "Engagement"


The Trolley Problem

This clip communicates a mind problem as an engaging storyline. 

It's multimodal because scripted discourse is only a portion of the content. The purpose is to share the story, but the effectiveness of the appeal is not communicated through oratory discourse. Timing, repetition, humor, ...kairos, logos, pathos.

A new inquiry of writing

This segment was [more or less] written and can be transcribed. A digital communicator who is designing or developing structure, vocabulary and functionality for wearable devices can employ rhetorical theory using
somewhat-nontraditional available means like these.

Posted on 12 May 2015, 5:01 pm by Ashley O'Brien  |  Permalink

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