Von Clea Kächele

Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms (Hiroshi Ishi, Brygg Ullmer 1997)

ABSTRACT – This paper presents our vision of Human Computer Interaction (HCI): "Tangible Bits." Tangible Bits allows users to "grasp & manipulate" bits in the center of users’ attention by coupling the bits with everyday physical objects and architectural surfaces. Tangible Bits also enables users to be aware of background bits at the periphery of human perception using ambient display media such as light, sound, airflow, and water movement in an augmented space. The goal of Tangible Bits is to bridge the gaps between both cyberspace and the physical environment, as well as the foreground and background of human activities.

This paper describes three key concepts of Tangible Bits: interactive surfaces; the coupling of bits with graspable physical objects; and ambient media for background awareness. We illustrate these concepts with three prototype systems – the metaDESK, transBOARD and ambientROOM – to identify underlying research issues.

Keywords – tangible user interface, ambient media, graspable user interface, augmented reality, ubiquitous computing, center and periphery, foreground and background

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Bits and Bricks – Tangible Interactive Matrix for Real-time Computation and 3D Projection Mapping (James Ira Winder, Kent Larson, MIT Media Lab 2017)

Abstract — The proliferation of projection mapping and computer vision techniques have made it possible to create a multiplicity of dynamic, illuminated environments that adapt to user intervention. This paper describes a unique system for an illuminated, machine-readable matrix of objects that performs real-time computation and dynamic projection-mapping. Illuminated, tangible-interactive matrices have immediate applications as collaborative computation tools for users who want to leverage matrix-based mathematical modeling techniques within a friendly and accessible environment. The system is designed as an open source kit of both off-the-shelf items (such as Lego) and components that are inexpensively fabricated with standard equipment (such as laser cutters). This paper outlines (i) a system of hardware and software for the tangible-interactive matrix, (ii) case study applications of the tangible interactive matrix in various disciplines such as urban planning and logistics, and (iii) discussion of possible directions for future research and experimental design.

Keywords — Interactive Displays; Tangible User Interface; Projection Mapping; Computer Vision; Decision-Support Systems; Collaboration; Lego

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"Bits and Bricks" Wins Best Demo Award at IEEE Future Technologies Conference 

"Bits and Bricks" Wins Best Demo Award at IEEE Future Technologies ConferenceMedia Lab researchers Ira Winder and Nina Lutz presented the Tactile Matrix at the IEEE-SAI Future Technologies Conference and won the award for best demonstration. The Tactile Matrix is an open source system for a machine-readable matrix of objects that performs real-time computation and dynamic projection-mapping for projects like CityScope. more