Reality Rifts: Wonder-ful Interfaces by Disrupting Perceptual Causality


Reality Rifts are interfaces between the physical and the virtual reality, where incoherent observations of physical behavior lead users to imagine comprehensive and plausible end-to-end dynamics. Reality Rifts emerge in interactive physical systems that lack one or more components that are central to their operation, yet where the physical end-to-end interaction persists with plausible outcomes. Even in the presence of a Reality Rift, users can still interact with a system—much like they would with the unaltered and complete counterpart—leading them to implicitly infer the existence and imagine the behavior of the lacking components from observable phenomena and outcomes. Therefore, dynamic systems with Reality Rifts trigger doubt, curiosity, and rumination—a sense of wonder that users experience when observing a Reality Rift due to their innate curiosity.

Proceedings of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems