Introduction to Physical Computing


Hello and welcome to my first blog for Physical Computing. Following this post will be the blogs that will share the learning journey I made throughout this module. All the blogs will be showing the week-to-week progression of my project concluded with the final development of the project and the testing.


Nowadays, almost everyone is aware of the term ‘Physical Computing’. It is on trend and everybody is talking about it. But, what exactly is physical computing? According to O’Sullivan and Igoe (2004), physical computing is about sensing and controlling the physical world with computers. In simple words, Physical computing is developing or building interactive physical systems by using both hardware and software in such a way that they can sense and respond to certain inputs given by human beings. In such kind of computing, it is not all about computers. This computing involves both human beings and computers, how human beings communicate with computers. The 1980s and early 1990s saw the emergence of the first generation of the physical computing devices with the development of lego/logo platform (Blikstein, 2013). Physical computing involves microcontrollers, sensors, actuators, and circuits. In his blog, Igoe (2004) explains the processes that make up the physical computing. He says it is all about building circuits, soldering wires, writing computer programs, building the structure in such a way that it can hold or respond to the sensors or actuators and identify how best to relate all of these things to the expression of a person.

Just how the internet has changed the way we interact with one another, physical computing has changed and will further change the way we interact with the physical world around us.

In the first week, we were given an introduction to physical computing. We learned and read about physical computing, the components involved in it, how it affects our lives and its scope in future.

Physical computing takes learning to a whole new level. I am really excited and eagerly looking towards this module, as it will make learning computing a lot more fun.


Blikstein, P., 2013, June. Gears of our childhood: constructionist toolkits, robotics, and physical computing, past and future. In Proceedings of the 12th international conference on interaction design and children (pp. 173-182). ACM.

Igoe, T. 2004. What is Physical Computing. 4 June. What is Physical Computing? [Online]. [10 September 2018]. Available from:

O’Sullivan, D. and Igoe, T., 2004. Physical computing: sensing and controlling the physical world with computers. Boston, MA, USA: Thomson.

Stankovic, J.A., Lee, I., Mok, A. and Rajkumar, R., 2005. Opportunities and obligations for physical computing systems. Computer38(11), pp.23-31.


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