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Tangible User Interfaces (TUI’s). What are Tangible User Interfaces?. TUI’s. Physical World. Digital world. GUI vs TUI. (Ishii 2008). Precursors.

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what are tangible user interfaces
What are Tangible User Interfaces?


Physical World

Digital world

gui vs tui

(Ishii 2008)

  • E.g. Marble answering machine, Durrell Bishop, Royal College of Art, Interaction Design, 1992. http://vimeo.com/19930744
early work
Early Work
  • Fitzmaurice et al. 1995 – Graspable user interfaces http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-TGEe-Imro
  • Ishii et al. 1997 - Tangible bits
recent work
Recent work
  • E.g. Lumino, Baudish et al, 2010 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyBbLqViX7g
  • E.g. Portico, Avrahami et al, 2011 http://vimeo.com/29359319
benefits of tui s ishii 2008
Benefits of TUI’s (Ishii 2008)
  • Double interaction loop - immediate tactile feedback
  • Persistency of tangibles
  • Coupled input/output space
  • Special vs generic purpose
  • Space-multiplexed vs time-multiplexed input

Also fun + engaging!


Can we connect these physical drawing tools to the digital space?

  • Sense position & orientation on touch technology
  • Add intelligent drawing support
  • How can they be best combined with multi-touch surfaces for enjoyable and productive interaction?
our approach
Our Approach
  • Design
    • Tangible hardware
  • Implementation
    • Recognizer
    • Drawing application
  • Usability evaluation
captui technology capacitive
CapTUI Technology – Capacitive
  • Small touch screens e.g. iPad, smart phones etc…
  • Touch detection via electrical pulse from fingers/conductive material
implementation tangible r ecognition
Implementation: Tangible Recognition
  • Tangible ID
    • 3 point (min) unique patterns

Valid patterns

Invalid patterns

implementation tangible recognition
Implementation: Tangible Recognition
  • Learning phase
  • Recognition phase
    • Touch point detection
    • Match point distances to saved tangible ID’s
    • No way of knowing which part of the touch point is in contact (+/- error)
implementation drawing application
Implementation: Drawing Application
  • Beautification

Ink-to-edge snapping Corner snapping

& Length visualization

implementation drawing application1
Implementation: Drawing Application
  • Visual drawing guides

Tangible outline Angle visualization


First iteration: Video

  • Second iteration: Demo
  • First iteration: usability
    • Simple drawing tasks
  • Second iteration: comparative study
    • Recognizable vs non recognizable drawing tools on screen
usability evaluation
Usability Evaluation
  • Can users construct simple drawings using the tangibles? Is the system usable?
  • 10 participants
  • 5 simple drawing tasks
usability evaluation results
Usability Evaluation: Results
  • First exploration
    • Technology works
    • Is usable for simple drawings
  • Tangible detection problems
    • Stability
    • Consistent circuit
    • Finger to tangible contact
    • Friction with screen
    • Comfortable drawing
  • Tangible outline helpful – recognition indicator
  • Drawing guides needed
comparative study
Comparative Study
  • Does CapTUI assist users to easily draw precise geometric drawings
  • Recognizable vs non recognizable drawing tools on screen
  • 12 Participants
comparative study results
Comparative Study: Results
  • CapTUI rated significantly higher than Paint overall
  • Visual guides helpful for precise drawing
    • significantly lower average angle error.
  • Participants enjoyed using CapTUI significantly more
  • Participants believed that CapTUI produces significantly more tidy drawings than Paint.
  • Making fine grained movements with the tangibles difficult
  • Tangible design still needs work
    • consistent detection
    • accurate positioning
tangeo technology infrared
Tangeo Technology – Infrared
  • Table tops e.g. Microsoft Surface 2.0
  • PixelSense - Touch detection via infrared reflection for each pixel
  • Image processing on detected pixels
  • Identifies finger/blobs/tags
implementation tangible recognition1
Implementation: Tangible Recognition
  • Learning phase
  • Recognition phase
    • Detection via custom tags
    • Use tag location to get tangible outline
    • Use thresholds for blob sizes
implementation drawing application3
Implementation: Drawing Application
  • Visual Guides
    • Tangible outline
    • Angle visualisation
    • Length visualisation
    • Ink beautification
      • corner snapping
      • ink-to-edge snapping
usability evaluation1
Usability Evaluation
  • Can users construct simple geometric drawings using Tangeo? Is the system usable?
  • 2 phase cycle
  • 8 participants
  • 4 drawing tasks
usability evaluation results1
Usability Evaluation: Results
  • Enjoyable / easy to use the tangibles
  • Good recognition
  • Visual guides helpful and easy to understand
  • Drawing accuracy – less positive perception
  • Add stylus for drawing
  • Marble answering machine - Crampton Smith, G. The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. I.D., May/June 1995, pp. 60-65.
  • Fitzmaurice G. W., H. Ishii, and W. Buxton. 1995. Bricks: laying the foundations for graspable user interfaces. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '95), ACM Press/Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., New York, NY, USA, 442-449. 
  • Ullmer B. and H. Ishii. 1997. The metaDESK: models and prototypes for tangible user interfaces. In Proceedings of the 10th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology (UIST '97). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 223-232.
  • Ishii H., B. Ullmer, Tangible bits: towards seamless interfaces between people, bits and atoms, Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems, p.234-241, March 22-27, 1997, Atlanta, Georgia, United States
  • Ishii H., 2008. Tangible bits: beyond pixels. In Proceedings of the 2nd international conference on Tangible and embedded interaction (TEI '08). ACM, New York, NY, USA, xv-xxv. 
  • Baudisch P., T. Becker, and F. Rudeck. 2010. Lumino: tangible building blocks based on glass fiber bundles. In ACM SIGGRAPH 2010 Emerging Technologies (SIGGRAPH '10). ACM, New York, NY, USA, Article 16 , 1 pages.
  • Avrahami D., J. Wobbrock, and S. Izadi. 2011. Portico: tangible interaction on and around a tablet. In Proceedings of the 24th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology (UIST '11). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 347-356. 
  • Blagojevic R., X. Chen, R. Tan, R. Sheehan, and B. Plimmer. 2012. Using tangible drawing tools on a capacitive multi-touch display. In Proceedings of the 26th Annual BCS Interaction Specialist Group Conference on People and Computers (BCS-HCI '12). British Computer Society, Swinton, UK, UK, 315-320.
  • Zhen, J. S., R. Blagojevic and B. Plimmer (2013). Tangeo: Geometric Drawing with Tangibles on an Interactive Table-Top. CHI 2013. Paris France, ACM. WIP: in press.
  • Shaer O. and E. Hornecker(2010) "Tangible User Interfaces: Past, Present and Future Directions", Foundations and Trends® in Human-Computer Interaction: Vol. 3: No 1-2, pp 1-137.