Devices with interactive multi touch surfaces
are ubiquitous and are getting more and more
sophisticated in terms of providing experiences,
that thanks to ultra low latencies and carefully
tuned prediction algorithms are smooth and
have a natural feel to them.
But the digital world lacks physicality and
neglects the human sense of touch and does not
make use of the fine motor skills of the human
hands that allow for high precision tasks and
complex manipulation. Also the human
capability of bi-manualism and spacial
multiplexing is often not exploited.
Tangible user interfaces are an interface type
that interlinks the the digital and physical
worlds, and allows for exploration of digital
content through manipulation of physical
objects.Tangibles are not mere input devicesbut
they can superimpose elements of the graphical
user interface or become fully fused with it. In
other words: they are - part of the interface
brought to life.
The goal of this project was to explore tangible
objects as control elements, categorise them by
comparing them to input devices and
peripherals, analyse them in terms of
affordances, and define scenarios, where they
could be of use. All this while referring to
scientific studies evaluating the performance of
tangible user interfaces.
This work resulted in a prototype that aims to
explore, how tangible control elements could
help to navigate through a complex data set,
while enhancing the users experience.