This creation forced the team to compile, in detail, the input of how the device would mechanically work, the outline of how the individual would interact with it, and the resulting output of the device. For simplicity of this activity, the technology involved to create this device was 'waved' so that it didn't interfere with the process of understanding the concept of interaction.
With the help of this activity, physical interaction can be explained by the idea that there needs to be an input from an individual or device, a processing of that information, and an output of a result.
Input: dream-induced brain waves and impulses collected by the sensors
Process: the dreams were recorded and stored as video, audio, and text files
Output: the next morning, the individual would be able to playback the dreams for revision in the formats listed above.
Chris Crawford, author of "The Art of Interactive Design" describes an interaction as a "cyclic process" between two actors. He emphasizes that the most effective interaction has a listen, a think, and a speak component to it.
The concept of Listen, Think and Speak is a more humanistic approach to describing the Input, Process and Output description mentioned in the Dream Machine creation.
I really like how Crawford emphasized the fact that interactivity is the most engaging expression of human activity. When an individual or user is entirely engaged with a mechanism or device, time passes so quickly because our attention is focused on that particular moment. I believe that this concept is truly powerful.
Example of good digital tech that is not interactive?
While walking down the street, my eye is drawn to the many billboards that line the tall buildings in Time Square, Downtown Manhattan. Digitally, they are portraying a message of some new beverage I should try, or an airline that has a great deal on flights to Europe, but they lack of a component of interactivity. My attention is fading; I continue of my journey.