Tangible Interfaces

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Reading Critiques

Qiao Zhang 12:00:57 11/2/2014

Getting in Touch The book chapter of Getting in Touch briefly describes previous topics regarding ubiquitous computing and virtual (augmented) reality. The author focuses on an approach that looks at the relationship between computers on the desktop and the world in which they (and we) operate. When talking about ubiquitous computing, the author was concerned with a phenomenon that the development and diffusion of general-purpose computers, and in particular PC's, had resulted in a focus on the computer rather than on the tasks that the computer was used to accomplish. One interesting analogy of solenoid is mentioned in the chapter; because we don't deal directly with solenoids in the way we do with computers, we don't have to think about the design of the "human-solenoid interface" etc. I am wondering how could computers be hidden from human's direct attention, because generally speaking, most computers come with screens, which cannot be ignored as an information output source. The author summarizes three kinds of ubiquitous computing devices: "by the inch" devices enhance Post-It Notes, "by the foot" pads of papers, "by the yard" whiteboards. However, none of these devices was intended to operate on its own. The focus, after all, was on a form of computation more deeply integrated with the everyday environment, and the everyday environment is filled with a variety of objects and devices. The goal of ubiquitous computing research was not simply on the size and packaging of the devices, but of how they would fit into a world of everyday activities and interaction. Virtual reality and augmented reality have a critical move to see ubiquitous computing as a technology of context; where traditional interactive systems focus on what the user does, ubiquitous computing technologies allow the system to explore who the user is, when and where they are acting, and so on. This book also mentioned Tangible Bits as example of design trends. The use of ambient sound, light and smell helps users consume information in background. However, in tangible computing, there are several general issues. First is that traditional interactive systems have a single center of interaction, or at least a small number. But in tangible computing, there is no single point of control or interaction. A related issue is how tangible interaction transforms the sequential nature of interaction at the interface. It is hard to serialize actions carried out by the users. Interacting with tangible computing opens up a new set of challenges and a new set of design problems. =================================== Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms In this paper, the authors present Tangible Bits, in contrast to "painted bits" as traditional way of interaction. 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. The goal of Tangible Bits is to rejoin the richness of the physical world in HCI and bridge the gaps between both cyberspace and the physical environment, as well as the foreground and back ground of human activities. The absence of seamless couplings between the dual realms of physical environment and cyberspace is a existing problem of our current interaction approach. Most of the natural skills and work practices are neglected in current HCI design because of the lack of diversity of input/output media, and too much bias towards graphical output at the expense of input from the real world. The authors present metaDESK, transBOARD, and ambientROOM as research prototypes for both visually-intensive, "hands-on" foreground interactions and background perception of ambient light, sound, airflow, and water flow at the periphery of our senses. The three prototypes provide foreground objects on interactive surface, ambient media in background. The ambientROOM is particularly interesting to me, because it carries information in the background and provides handles to switch between the background and the foreground. The ghostly presence is somewhat ubiquitous computing trying to achieve, by weaving computers into the background of people's everyday life. When something need's user's attention, it will naturally notify the user without preempting user's cognitive resources. The paper also talks about optical metaphors, which bridge physical and digital worlds by the means of changing light, shadow, and optics in general. I believe out of 5 senses, optical sense is the one that worth the most exploring, because human has developed the sense so well during evolution. People can consume a lot of information unconsciously, but how to utilize this characteristic needs more exploring of psychological research.

changsheng liu 14:05:53 11/3/2014

<Getting in Touch> review the history of tangible computing and describe the trends of tangible interaction. The chapter first talks about Ubiquitous Computing. PARC’S ubiquitous computing strategy followed three tracks: they were known as computation by the inch, the foot and the yard. “by the inch” focused on small device, “by the inch” focused on the development and use of computational devices of about the size and power of recent laptop computers, “by the yard” considered much larger devices. In the history of tangible interaction, the Digital Desk is a milestone. First, it supported manipulation. One can move objects around desk with one’s finger. Second, its electronic and physical worlds were integrated. Weiser and Wellner attempted to take computation and embed it in the everyday world, so they shared the goal of Virtual Reality. Virtual Reality could immerse the user in a computationally generated reality. Later, the Tangible Media group at the MIT Media Lab explored “Tangible Bits”, a program of research that incorporates aspects of both the Ubiquitous Computing program and the design perspective explored by people like Jeremijenko. The term “Tangible Bits” reveals a direct focus on the interface between the physical and virtual worlds. It provides some balance to the idea that a transition from atoms to bits is inevitable and uniformally positive. In general, tangible computing should overcome two issues. First, in tangible computing, there is no single point of control or interaction. The second one is how tangible interaction transforms the sequential nature of interaction at the interface. <Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms> describes “Tangible Bits” in detail. 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. The papers describes the three components in Tangible Bits: Interactive Surfaces, Coupling of Bits and Atoms, Ambient Media. Interactive surfaces is a concept that could transform each surface within architectural space, e.g., walls, desktops, ceilings, doors, windows, into an active interface between the physical and virtual worlds; Coupling of Bits and Atoms is seamless coupling of everyday graspable object with the digital information that pertains to them. Ambient Media is the use of ambient media such as sound, light, airflow and water movement for background interfaces with cyberspace at the periphery of human perception. Three prototypes of Tangible Bits are: metaDESK, transBOARD, and ambientROOM. The metaDESK and transBOARD are prototype systems for exploring the use of physical objects as a means to manipulate bits in the center of users’ attention. The ambientROOM is focused on the periphery of human perception. Taking advantage of multiple senses and the multimodality of human interactions with the real world, Tangible Bits can lead to a much richer multi-sensory experience of digital information.

Bhavin Modi 14:28:19 11/3/2014

Reading Critique on Getting in Touch A brief but not complete introduction to the paradigm of Tangible Computing, the shift of focus from the traditional desktop interaction towards reality both physical and virtual. The computer and the desk interaction paradigm today and be said to have it origins in the 1970s beginning with the Xerox PARC Alto workstation. The decades to come have seen radical development which is not seen in any other areas like for cars, airplanes etc. The change has been mostly in the computing power, the memory storage and what all the user can do with his workstation, Personal computing as a result came into play popularized, arguably by the release of Apple 2. Even so the interaction still involves staring at a screen and using an input device such as a keyboard or mouse, requiring our complete focus. This is when researchers started thinking of merging the physical and the virtual, and again Xerox was at the head, with efforts from MIT Media Lab also been highlighted. The chapter begins by looking at research done by Mark Weiser and his colleagues in the field of Ubiquitous Computing (We have read the paper before with all the inventions being showcased here again). Moving on we then have the digital desk proposed by Pierre Wellner, followed by the discussion on augmented and virtual reality which are two popular areas of research, can contradictory. Then to be sure of the applicability of ubiquitous or tangible computing, Jeremy Cooperstock conducted the reality room experiment and showed the benefits of using this paradigm for managing configurations automatically in a reactive environment. Lastly, we have the researchers of MIT media labs creating the Tangible Bits Prototype to build on the digital desk paradigm and enhancing it for use in various domains. The author mentions that still there is much to know about the effects of such computational interactive environment. Firstly there is always the problem of privacy concerns. Moving on while looking at tangible bits, the use of simulations provides the same benefits, helping us visualize possible solutions, the use of models will just increase cost and may not be exact. Using multimodal interfaces look like a more likely solution for the map example taking all this into account (remember speechActs). But moving on, yes we need tangible computing and the future seems to lie in that direction, but a clear vision is still required. The inherently sequential paradigm of today’s interfaces will have to change to try and merge input with output at a more direct level. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Reading Critique on Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms Creating new prototype models in the design space of Tangible User Interfaces namely the metaDesk, transBOARD and ambientROOM to identify research issues in this field. Picking up from the previous paper Getting in Touch, we continue with the discussion of ubiquitous computing in the form of Tangible Interfaces exploring new interactions possible. The question addressed here is not about ubiquitous computing, which tries to reduce the size of the existing computers and make them abundant in the environment such that they become a part of it. The interaction still remains the same, using GUI’s, while now the researchers at MIT are focusing on the affordability of physical objects and how we could use them to transform bits (interact with the cyber space). Using graspable objects gives you a sense of control and let one use years of experience with such interactions such that they move to the background and allows us to use parallel processing and attention manager capability of the brain. Discussing about the prototypes in detail, it draws inspiration from the marble answering machine and the live wire models. The use of ambient sounds, light, peripheral vision as a method to make the person of some information continually without distracting him. The metaDESK builds on the digital desk as inspiration and uses two lenses active and passive with the use of special building blocks to control a map. The use of barcodes and RFID tags for such objects in everyday use, will create a lot of random frequencies floating around corresponding to each person. The complexity rises exponentially, so assigning virtual barcodes seems a more plausible idea, with the use of augmented reality. Wearable devices creating an augmented reality are present, but they need to be more portable and cost-effective and the same, it is not as pervasive still. The idea of the metaBOARD does not seem to be new, and feels like smart board of Xerox, here the tabs proposed by Xerox are replaced by post-its. The most attractive concept is truly the ambientROOM, using subtle changes in the environment to communicate information through any viable surface. A combination of ambient with augmented reality and using smart surfaces not boards, shows us much resemblances to science fiction movies and interesting protoypes.

Eric Gratta 18:11:39 11/3/2014

Getting in Touch Paul Dourish The goal of this chapter is to briefly survey tangible computing work to explain its purpose. The chapter begins by summarizing a history of the personal computer’s progress over the two decades since it first became mainstream with the Apple II. The author explains that very little has changed about the PC, including the way we interact with it and its software, besides its hardware stats. But, he wishes to point out that there are alternatives to the PC that can disrupt its prevalence much like the PC replaced the mainframe. He mentions “tangible computing” but does not give a clear definition. The next two sections describe visions of ubiquitious computing that we’ve already encountered: Mark Weiser’s Computer for the 21st Century and Pierre Wellner’s Digital Desk. According to Dourish, both of those visions involved a desire to computationally augment reality, in opposition to the creation of exclusively virtual reality. A new (to our class) example was introduced, called the Reactive Room, and this felt anachronistic because such rooms are prevalent in modern office spaces. Some art/design works were discussed that were very interesting, particularly the Bishop work that used marbles to represent telephone messages. The author discussed also examples of current tangible computing work being led by the Tangible Bits group at the MIT Media Lab. The key to all of these technologies is not a focus on input or output translation, but of coupling the physical with the virtual. Finally, the concept of tangible computing is explored in meaningful depth at the end of the chapter. The author points out three important features that distinguish tangible computing from other types of computing, but primarily personal computing. For one, there is no single point of interaction or single device of interaction like the PC with a cursor. Given this fact, it comes naturally that interactions are not likely to be strictly sequential in tangible interfaces. Lastly, tangible computing devices can offer some affordances that make their use intuitive for users; this fact can even be used to guide users through sequential actions, easing the burden on the programmer. ---------------------------------------------------------- Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms (1997) Hiroshi Ishii and Brygg Ullmer This paper tries to push the concept of “tangible interfaces” to the limit with the Tangible Bits system (metaDESK, transBOARD and ambientROOM), which features interactive surfaces, the coupling of bits with atoms (objects), and the presentation of contextual information using “ambient display media”. It wants to demonstrate some concrete examples of how GUIs/the desktop paradigm can be reestablished in a tangible interface (described as ubiquitous and invisible). The claimed inspiration is the strand of ubiquitous computing that focuses on “Augmented Reality,” as discussed in the “Getting in Touch” paper. The paper uses the technique of exploring related work in a unique way; for all or most of the related work discussed, the differences between the past research and the current paper’s goal was highlighted. This made it clear what new contribution this paper was offering. Some of the aspects of Tangible Bits conveyed by this method were that it focuses on adding computational capability to physical objects with many affordances, putting the graspable above the visual, and seamlessly integrating input and output. The actual parts of the system were discussed in class. I felt that much more text could have been devoted to discussing the systems they had created, although at the same time they did not represent very practical systems. The ambientROOM in particular, while very interesting for its concept, is not something that the everyday person would make use of; what kind of large, fluctuating metrics (like web traffic) do people take interest in? Of course the concept can be applied in different ways, even used to display more personal and small-scale information. But the use of the tangible interfaces in this paper were somewhat impractical, and I think they might have made their argument for the creation of such interfaces more convincing by emphasizing practicality. The metaDESK was, again, very interesting but the physical limitations of the space don’t match my conception of how one navigates digital maps. I tend to travel far and wide and zoom all the way in as well as all the way out. How could those interactions become tangible as well? That this paper is nearing 2 decades old may explain why I’m viewing some of this as impractical or unimpressive.

nro5 (Nathan Ong) 18:30:24 11/3/2014

Review of “Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms” by Hiroshi Ishii and Brygg Ullmer The authors explain that the purpose of creating a “Tangible User Interface” (TUI) is to move the virtual desktop environment closer to a physical representation by allowing control of the virtual representation via physical objects. They also present three different prototypes of TUIs, two that illustrate usage of foreground objects and one that emphasizes the background environment. It is interesting to note that most people will think the future of user interfaces will have Minority Report-style open-air gestures, but human nature seems to desire some form of tactile interaction. This paper acknowledges this human desire and provides some important ideas for the success of Tangible User Interfaces. In order for humans to be satisfied in working in a virtual environment that is as natural as possible, the authors suggest using interactive surfaces, providing a good mapping between virtual data and physical interaction, and utilizing the surrounding environment for additional information when necessary. These concepts have been implemented through their three interfaces, but unfortunately no evaluation has been made of these interfaces. It will be important to understand how users interact with these new interfaces. While it may seem more intuitive in some aspect, it seems difficult to be able to make a mapping from a clear cube, for example, into a lens to the projected screen as presented in their metaDESK TUI. It is possible for users to learn this mapping, but how much practice will it take? How often will a user need to rely on a manual to remember that the clear cube represents a lens? I sincerely hope that the authors continued to evaluate their systems, since this is the only way to be confident about the effectiveness about their idea. Aside from the evaluation, there must also be some way to prevent the unnecessary clutter of objects; had the researchers decided on taking all the Adobe Photoshop tools and mapping them to a physical tool each, then it is possible that the user can be overwhelmed by the amount of space that the objects take. It is a relatively minor point, but the possibility reminds me of the tools that many amateur DIY builders have that require the garage to be filled entirely with tools and other objects. If we decide to use a cornucopia of tools, then the cost and utility may only appeal to hobbyists, and the majority will not see the need to change their WIMP-based interactions due to the high threshold required for users to become proficient at the new interface. Review of “Getting in Touch” from Where the Action Is by Paul Dourish The chapter from the book recounts a short history of user interfaces, starting from Xerox PARC’s Alto for the invention of graphical user interfaces by control of a mouse and keyboard until the emerging technology of tangible interfaces. The author argues that it is strange that computers have evolved so quickly, yet the mode of interaction between users and computers is primarily in the form of keyboard and mouse. In a sense, he hopes to bring ubiquitous computing and tangible interfaces to the forefront in order to provide support and encouragement in those fields. Similar to Buxton’s “Multi-Touch Systems that I Have Known and Loved,” the author hopes to give an overview in the history of human to personal computer interaction. By doing so, he can not only inform readers of the history and the current state of human to personal computer technology, he can also provide a platform to launch his own argument that certain types of systems that are being developed are the proof that the technology is evolving. Specifically, he laments that the current point of interaction with a personal computer is the keyboard and mouse, which has not changed for the last 20-30 years. With the increase of computation power and the decrease of cost over time, a computer can undoubtedly handle new modes of interaction, whether through spoken language, gestures, or tangible interfaces. The problem of distribution is not due to cost or computational limitations, but rather evaluation of effectiveness of these systems. What is lacking in this chapter as well as the previous paper is that the two lack evidence to support that their systems will truly enable more modes of interaction while achieving the same low threshold that comes with the keyboard and mouse. Fitt’s Law may not be enough; while it is true that target acquisition is an important task to determining the ease of a new mode of interaction, it is obviously not the only factor to consider when adopting a new interaction mode. Are tangible interfaces as easy as the author of this chapter and the authors of the previous paper make it seem? Can these forms of interaction really improve productivity or usability of personal computing systems? Without any evaluation, we cannot answer these questions directly. The author seems extremely optimistic about tangible interfaces, but I feel the ideas that come from this field need to be more refined. As the state-of-the-art currently stands, it seems that tangible interfaces suffer from non-portability, overstimulation, and constrained situations. In order for tangible user interfaces to be successful, much more work needs to be done to alleviate these problems and allow for flexibility and customization. Once these ideas are realized, then it seems more apparent that tangible interfaces can become the new revolution in human-computer interaction.

Nick Katsipoulakis 18:53:54 11/3/2014

Getting in Touch ::: In this book chapter the notions of Ubiquitous computing and Tangible interfaces are presented and a number of previous approaches towards that direction are presented. In the beginning of the chapter, the lack of change in computing systems is pointed out, by pointing out the fact that personal computers were still used (at the time of writing of this book) the same way as when they were first invented. The only difference laid in capabilities of computers and applications supported. In addition, the machines’ context-unaware nature is demonstrated and the presentation of ubiquitous computing begins unfolding. The authors start by describing how the idea of ubiquitous computing and tangible interfaces were conceived and evolved. They survey previous work on tangible interfaces and the way research groups attempted to extend communication channels of personal computers towards context-aware computations. Throughout the time-line of development of computing interfaces, shortcomings of each approach are revealed. The authors conclude by briefly summarizing issues that need to be resolved by tangible interfaces and the magnitude of their importance for users. In general, I enjoyed reading this book chapter because it links research papers that we have previously read, with the evolution time-line. It is remarkable how all dots (research prototypes) are connected and their contribution to the same cause. Ubiquitous computing with tangible interfaces is indeed an important research field, which will provide a plethora of advantages to Computer Science. ///------------------------------------------------END OF FIRST CRITIQUE-------------/// Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms ::: In this paper the definition of “Tangible Bits” is provided as a way to interact with the virtual world of a computer through physical objects. Also, the idea of Tangible User Interface is introduced and a number of prototypes are presented that follow the approach of integrating computation in the environment. The aforementioned prototypes revolve around three categories dealing with (a) surfaces, (b) coupling of objects with bits, and (c) ambient media. In the first two interaction categories fall the metaDESK and the transBOARD. Those prototypes attempt to establish a novel channel of communication through physical objects. The prototypes are aware of the context (location) of recognizable objects, and interactions are captured through monitoring changes in physical properties of objects. ambientROOM is a prototype that concentrates on the third category that leverages ambient media for communicating with the user. An example of those media can be sound, light, shadow, air flow, and water flow. In my opinion, ambientROOM captures the whole idea of tangible user interfaces since it utilizes most human senses in a parallel manner. It would be really fascinating if ambientROOM with the ability of scent interaction was also incorporated. Finally, transBOARD is presented which reminds me of the approach of a previous paper we have discussed in class (Designer’s Outpost). I was able to be convinced by the motivation of the authors. Tangible User Interfaces are the next big step to bringing computers closer to human nature. Until now, Computer Science had major limitations in terms of processing power to tackle. However, now the paradigm has shifted in way that computer science has to catch up with human nature.

Longhao Li 22:01:39 11/3/2014

Critique for Getting in Touch This paper mainly talked about the new development of computer science, which is not bound by the traditional approach of computer technology. These approaches are truly reflects the developing trend of computer science. It is great to see that this article summarized a lot of new approaches in the development of computer science. First is ubiquitous computing, which are introduced by Xerox PARC. This idea aims to bring computing into everywhere. People can be able to enjoy the convenient that computer gave on any place. Then the article talked about the digital desk. It is introduced by EuroPARC, and it is covered in our class. This approach makes the direct connection between physical world and digital world. It shows how we can do to make the operation of computer jumping to a new level. After that, the author talked about Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, Reactive Room, Design Trends, Tangible Bits and Interacting with Tangible computing. Tangible Bits and Interacting with Tangible computing generally introduced the development of tangible interface, which are focus on connecting physical world with the digital world (using physical object to manipulate the corresponding physical object). The important part of this article is the summarization of all of these approaches. Some of them are known before, and some of them are the first time seeing. By reading this article, readers can get some feelings about what is the general trend of computer technology, which is that people are seeking new ways to make computer operation become more natural and efficient. Knowing this trend can guide the researchers in this area to bring computer technology into a new level. Critique for Tangible Bits: towards seamless interfaces between people bits and atoms In general, this paper talked about author’s approach to achieve tangible interface. The introduction is comprehensive and leading the thought. I think that this paper is important because it introduced some great approach of tangible interface. Tangible Bits is the idea that introduced by the author. It is aim to eliminate the gaps between computer and physical world. It looks similar with ubiquitous computing. But they have difference that it is mainly characterized by graphical user interface type interaction, and ubiquitous didn’t focus on this. They introduced three prototype to show their idea: metaDESK, transBOARD and ambientROOM. metaDESK is the approach that put graphical user interface onto a desk operation, which use real item to represent different patterns in graphical interface, such as menu represented by tray, widget represented by instrument. transBOARD is a digital enhanced whiteboard. It input the information on the whiteboard into the digital world. AnbientROOM is using a room that using ambient media to interaction with metaDESK. This is very unique approach for the tangible interface. People have the ability to fully interact with the digital world since they can use the power of ambient. These prototypes are great try to making tangible interface. There are a lot of approaches to do tangible interface. Microsoft used human on air gestures to enhance their gaming experience in XBOX. It actually did a good job. Users can play tennis with computer by using the real gestures for tennis. It is an easy to learn and easy to use interface. People have great interaction experience. Nowadays, the interface have been used a lot for the developers to enable human gestures on the operation of computers, like using gestures as mouse operation and use gestures to do drawing on board.

Wei Guo 22:31:34 11/3/2014

Reading critique for Tangible Space Tangible space is for bridging the gaps between cyberspace and physical environment, as well as the foreground and background. There are three key concepts of Tangible space: interactive surfaces, which is the transformation of each surface within architectural space into an active interface between the physical and virtual worlds; coupling of bits and atoms, which is the seamless coupling of everyday graspable objects with the digital information that pertains to them; and ambient media, which is the usage of ambient media such as sound, light, airflow, and water movement for background interfaces with cyberspace at the periphery of human perception. These three concepts are illustrated with three prototype systems: metaDESK pushing back from GUIs into the real world, transBOARD exploring the concept of interactive surfaces which absorb information from the physical world, and ambientROOM complementing the graphically-intensive, cognitively-foreground interactions of the metaDESK by using ambient media. Reading Critique for Getting in Touch This paper focuses on an approach that looks at the relationship between computers on the desktop and the world in which they operate. The author introduces the under exploring alternatives of conventional PC, which are: Ubiquitous Computing, Computation by the Inch, Foot, and Yard, The Digital Desk, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, the Reactive Room, Design Trends, and Tangible Bits. This paper is written in 2001, which is 13 years ago. The world 13 years ago had already had several famous alternatives for PC, what should it be now? From Google glass to the Iwatch to different kinds of different sizes pads, phones, the modern world actually contains a lot of alternatives of conventional PC. The prediction comes true: we are embracing the world of ubiquitous computing.

Xiaoyu Ge 22:46:28 11/3/2014

GETTING IN TOUCH This chapter is a survey of interaction techniques, which begins with Ubiquitous Computing and finished with description of the Tangible Computing. The chapter presents the importance of design of physical things to evolve the notion of Ubiquitous Computing by helping to blur the line between computers and physical devises. Tangible Computing builds on these important relationships by making use of “phicons” (Physical icons) as a means to accept input from users. I enjoyed the reading in particular the samples presented of Tangible Computing, and I agree with the author for marking PC and Ubicomp as the taking-off point of the tangible computing, since I believe the tangible computing shares the same goal with PC and Ubicomp. The goals of PC is, as the article implies, provision of personalized information access points, while that of Ubicomp is making the access points abundant and distributed, so that we can benefit from the task- or context-driven devices. From what I’ve learned from it, the idea of tangible interfaces is instead of just using the old interaction tools such as mouses, keyboards and screens, we should consider other things as the media. TANGIBLE BITS: TOWARDS SEAMLESS INTERFACES BETWEEN PEOPLE, BITS AND ATOMS This paper was referenced in the previous reading, presents in more details of the motivation for Tangible Bits and describes the three prototypes built to demonstrate the idea: metaDESK, transBOARD, and ambientROOM. The concept of ambientROOM is fresh in terms of putting the ambient media, such as light, shadow, sound, airflow, and water flow into consideration and controlling them. This paper builds on a system that fully utilizes every surrounding thing as interaction devices. Author try to point out the lack of diversity for interacting with computing devices, which have narrowed the interaction to the use of GUI and corresponding input devices. Before reading this paper I have some confusion about the clear distinction between TAI and Ubiquitous Computing. However, the authors explained that the main difference is that Ubiquitous Computing considers the disappearance of computers by their transformation into pads/taps/boards. This makes me understanding more clearly, but there is still some confusion about where the two ideas diverge.

Yingjie Tang 23:32:16 11/3/2014

"Getting in Touch" is the 2nd chapter in “Where the Action Is” and it mainly introduces the survey in ubiquitous computing and virtual reality. The father of Ubiquitous Computing Mark Weiser wrote in “The Computer for the 21st Century” that The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it. We see through this idea from the example of solenoids which have been the critical component of modern technological design and we can almost can’t distinguish them in our daily life. I agree the idea that computers will finally follow the track of solenoids and finally “disappear” and we can see the trend of this nowadays that artificial intelligence has immenser into our daily life. Smartphones, smart vehicles and smart watches have proved this tendency. But obviously, there is something about ubiquitous computing that the author neglected. He mentioned that we can do some social computing when people wear active badges or similar tags and to make good customized computation for the user. The privacy issue is highly discussed these days and the users will expose themselves to the servers while they use the wearable computers. In my point of view, the most severe resistance in social computing is the data privacy in Ubiquitous Computing. The article also mentioned some important simulation in virtual reality follows the Digital Desk, like the Reactive Room and Some implementations of tangible bits and The Ambient Room. The tangible Geospace is very impressive because it’s appearance prove the possibility of high-diminutional tangibility which dynamically transform the content of user interface technique. Also, the dataglove is a heat topic these days because it is the basic research in tangible computing area. What dataglove do is to project the virtual objects to the force controller in the dataglove and we can do a lot more by the dataglove. Such as shaking hands with a people far away through the dataglove. Currently, we only have the vision contact with another subject. But with the dataglove, we can have some tangible communication.——————————————————————————————— “Tangible Bits” is a famous paper introduces the tangible user interface and ambient media. Doctor Ishii was inspired by the Mark Weiser’s view on the ubiquitous computing and he believe to establish the tangible user interface is a good way to make computing truly ubiquitous and invisible. I was impressed by the idea that to allow the users parallel grasp and manipulate the foreground bits and receive the bit information by the background bits. He explored a new dimension in design space for human computer interaction by exploring the foreground and background. Based on the concept of design space, I also come up with some new ideas. What the author mentioned about the background is only periphery ambient media which can only impose information to the human side and not allowing the human to manipulate the computer. I think there must exist an approach to grasp and manipulate the computer through the background. Like we can detect the user’s sitting to determine whether the user is tired or not to automatically play different kind of music. The computer should play some classic music when the user is tired and when the user is sitting seriously, some sports music should played. The implementation of some prototype were really impressive in this paper. The ambientROOM take use of the acoustic channel of human to indicate whether the visiting website is popular or not. The author also mentioned that the optical channel is a valid channel for the peripheral ambient media. I think there still exist some other valid channel to be explored besides acoustic and optical channels. Like the flair and temperature, they can convey some emotion to the human side much more efficient than light or sounds.

phuongpham 0:18:34 11/4/2014

Tangible Bits: towards seamless interfaces between people, bits and atoms: this paper introduced a new HCI technique: graspable UI. The authors have introduced 3 application of graspabel UI where normal point and click UI was discarded. I think this graspable UI has introduced a new way for human to interact with computers. However, is this way better than the traditional point and click GUI has not been evaluated here. Moreover, at some points, I feel the graspable objects were over used. For example in the metaDESK, instead of a mouse to control such a map application, Tangible bits has to use at least 3 objects. On the other hand, I really like the idea of marble answering machine and ambient light. In short, this could be a way to write a research paper when you have a novel idea. Try to implement the idea on a few toy problems, identify challenges, propose intuitive (not sophisticated) solutions. ***Getting in touch: as the chapter title suggested, this chapter iterate through many salient HCI technologies from the beginning time. The author started with an argument that the traditional PC has not been changed as fast as its components. Then the author leaded us to touch each of salient HCI techniques. Most of these techniques have been known through the class reading. I have some questions when reading the chapter. First, given many kinds of HCI techniques like that, what are main challenges that they are not commercialize and we are still stick with the old PC model. Second, many later techniques focus on feedback aspect of interaction, e.g. Illuminting light and urp. However, I feel with the advancements of AI, there would be a big change in HCI when human can communicate through verbal, which allow people using computer devices in a higher frequency in situations where it is hard for current technology, and if the computer devices can catch the context, e.g. who is the current user, what is the current task, what is the user's intention, what is the user's emotion, computers will become much smarter and we would open new applications as well as new challenges to explore.

Christopher Thomas 1:13:01 11/4/2014

2-3 Sentence Summary of Getting in Touch by Paul Dourish – Mr. Dourish begins the article by explaining that computers have changed radically since the Xerox Parc design and have become much more affordable, but despite the huge change (even way back when this article was written), the way that we interact with computers has remained largely unchanged. He then gives a “tour” of research going on at the time in “tangible computing” and discuses ubiquitous computing, virtual reality, etc. and other design trends. He then begins to speculate about how tangible computing may change the way we interact with computers as opposed to the traditional style of computer interactions. This was a fun chapter to read because it tied together many different articles we have read in this course. The chapter managed to touch on so much, from Mark Weiser’s definition of ubiquitous computing to even the “digital desk.” He explained how much innovation was done at XEROX PARC and even EuroPARC. As such, I think he really presented a very nice history and overview of the evolution of computer interfaces, discussing how they were being investigated and explaining very tersely, though with a lot of content, why the design decisions were made back when they were and how they might affect future design decisions. With the digital desk example, he basically was trying to illustrate a very early tangible example of what he called “tangible computing,” which he believed was the way of the future. I thought a very nice explanation of the difference between virtual reality and augmented reality was provided, explaining the intersection between the ideas of ubiquitous computing (with computers embedded in doorknobs, walls, etc.), which closely relates to more augmented reality, to virtual reality, where the user is immersed in a virtual world. The distinction he makes is this: ubiquitous computing is about bringing computation into the real world, whereas virtual reality is about taking people into an artificially constructed virtual world. I think this is interesting, because in all the papers we have talked about so far, most of them seem to be focused much more on the former approach, namely ubiquitous computing. However, we haven’t read anything yet whereby the user is completely immersed in an artificial world. I think that such virtual reality worlds are actually quite interesting and obviously there is a real drive for it, with games like Second Life, etc. Many people spend much of their time living in virtual universes, with virtual friends, etc. I think an interesting research question is whether the paradigm of virtual reality can be leveraged in an interesting way to accomplish real-world tasks, such as office work, etc.? Many of the problems we are discussing could become somewhat irrelevant if the user was embedded in a computational landscape of artificially constructed reality, whereby the system is in complete control and has omniscient knowledge of the domain. I think the possibilities are immense and with increases in computer power, I believe that eventually will become a much less “sci-fi” paradigm and increasingly in the mainstream. I thought the metaDESK tangible geospace system was very interesting. Here, the authors explored the interaction with geographical space driven by physical objects. Picking up objects enabled maps (in 2-d) to appear below and to be moved around by manipulation of the physical objects. Interestingly, it also had 3-d visualizations of the MIT campus way back in 1997, navigable with a purely tangible interface. Thus, the author uses this example to look to the future. It is easy for us to look back now, in an age of computers at our fingertips, and say these ruminations seem almost quaint. However, blurring the lines between the physical environment and the computer environment or model of the world is still a largely unexplored area, even in 2014. Taking into account context information that is available now and exploiting the unique abilities of new paradigms of computers, such as wearable devices and their unique affordances will open limitless research opportunities that are yet unexplored. 2-3 Sentence Summary of Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits, and Atoms – The authors present their view of the future of interfaces (tangible interfaces) and illustrate it through several design projects, such as the metaDESK, transBOARD, and ambientROOM systems. The notion of “Tangible bits” is the authors’ attempt to essentially bridge the gap between the virtual world and the physical world by making digital information accessible and manipulatible in a tangible manner, through interactive surfaces, coupling of everyday objects with information, and ambient media. I found interesting that yet again, the Mark Weiser paper on ubiquitous computing was broad up in this paper. When I first read the Mark Weiser paper, at first I didn’t really see the value in that paper. Now, however, I see so many connections between the ideas that Mr. Weiser propounded in that paper and how many different research projects got inspiration from that paper. Interestingly enough, this paper also talks about something we talked about in class regarding ubiquitous computing, that the goals of it were to have computers in “tablets, pads, and board” sizes along with a communication infrastructure. This was covered in class multiple times and this goal was reiterated in this paper, which I found very interesting and recognized immediately. I understand that the research question that the researchers are trying to explore is how to make interfaces more tangible. I watched an online video about the metaDESK system they developed, though I was not nearly impressed with it as I was with the digital desk. I understand that the researchers’ purpose was not to build a specific application, but rather to explore a new physical interface, but still, I found the idea to be somewhat unconvincing as presented. While I think making interfaces more hands on and physical is an interesting project, I didn’t think their demonstration of it was very interesting or convincing – particularly because of the “phicons” necessary for manipulation of it. In this scenario, users required specialized phicons to accomplish their tasks and manipulate the interface. In contrast, in the DigitalDesk paper, users were able to use natural, unspecialized objects, such as paper on their desk and an ordinary pencil to input. To navigate the simple map on the screen, users had to use specialized objects and instruments. I’m not sure I immediately saw the benefit of this, especially looking back in an era of touch screen devices, where people simply input using their fingers. I’m not sure that this kind of use of objects as input devices is exactly ideal, especially as it is somewhat superfluous. This is just an opinion, of course, but it seems somewhat clumsy as opposed to a sleek, touch based interface which doesn’t require any extra physical devices. The ambientROOM idea seems to me a slightly more interesting project. The goal here is to allow ambient conditions in the room, such as lighting, background noises, etc. to serve as an input channel to the user to convey information that the user wishes to monitor in the background, not in the foreground, so that the user can concentrate on something else. This seems like a much more immersive technology, with things such as the shifting lights in the room to signal different times of days, or background noises, immersing the user in a sort of augmented reality. I like this idea and I imagine it has a lot of potential uses and really should be explored more – though again I wonder about the utility of this versus a simple reminder on the computer or a notification on the cell phone. A user study comparing the two approaches would be interesting. Similarly, the transBOARD’s concepts of multi-user access were explored by the digitalDesk long before, but it did bring new innovations. I see a lot of similarity to the transBOARD to some of the other papers we read, particularly the digital post-it note board we talked about, the “designer’s outpost.”

zhong zhuang 1:32:49 11/4/2014

The main idea of this chapter is about Tangible computing, the term looks new, but it is actually backed in the 1970’s. They call it ubiquitous computing. The basic idea is break the boundary of the traditional PC and other daily objects. In Weiser’s famous paper, computer in the 21st century, Weiser claims that instead of bring works to the computer, the future computer should allow user to bring computers to the works. Based on this idea, there are some prototypes that are developed. For example, the Inch, Foot and Yard system, inch means inch size device, like an electronic badge, which allow it to act like a computational Post-It notes. Foot means foot size device, like an electronic paper, yard means yard size device like an electronic white board. The Digital Desk system is another example, it looks like a regular desk but augmented with computational power that allows tangible interface. These attempts are all about taking computation and embed it in to the everyday world. It is called virtual reality or augmented reality. There are also prototypes that will integrate of different tangible computing systems, for example the Reactive Room, which utilized the digital badge and the DigitalDesk. In this Reactive Room, contextual information could be obtained through badges. If the “knows” who is in the room and what are they doing, it could facilitate the activities by virtual reality. The author mentions an interesting fact that the contribution of Ubiquitous computing or tangible computing is made by the art and design researchers, he mentioned two examples called Marble Answering Machines and Living Wire. Both of these examples are not related to human computer interface. But they are highly related with Ubiquitous computing. The chapter mentioned some other examples like Tangible Bits and Ambient Room, basically they have the same idea.

SenhuaChang 1:51:24 11/4/2014

Getting in Touch This article shows the concept of tangible interfaces is explored including ubiquitous computing and a small survey of a few tangible interfaces that have been developed. The chapter begins by describing the evolution of computing including personal computers and research done at PARC on ubiquitous computing. Weiser's active badge, tab, and pad were described in the article and the idea that ubiquitous computing embeds itself into everyday life where computers become “invisible” and not noticed as they are a part of everyday life. I feel that in order for tangible interfaces to become popular that they need to be “invisible” and for users not to know that they are physically interacting with a computer. For this to happen tangible interfaces need to be easy to use and be natural for a user to use them. One of the first tangible user interfaces that brought together the digital and physical worlds was Wellner's Digital Desk. This allowed the user to interact with desk elements both on the physical desktop and in the digital world. For the time that this was created it was impressive as technology has evolved a lot since then. The last major system that was described in the article was the tangible bits system that was developed at MIT. This system came up with several approaches for interaction such as physical icons and a tangible geospace. <11111111111> Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between people, bits and atoms This paper, as introduced in ""Getting"" in touch chapter, is one of the pioneering work in the tangible computing area. The main idea of their work is to cast users interaction with the physical environment as well as the background environment information into the virtual artifacts -- bits, and allow users to interact with them. In Tangible Bits, the working area has been extended from the desktop to the whole physical space of the working area. in the foreground, users may manipulate the tangible UI parallelly, which is designed to reflect the interaction with the counterpart objects in the real world; while in the background, the information of the environment has been conveyed to the users by means of their familiar perception elements such as light, shadow, sound, an so on. I think an important question is that how to organize the information that the interface try to send to users. there are already a lot of them during the parallel interaction with the foreground bits, whose coordination is already an issue needs to be taken care of, while the background information, might sometimes be important to be brought forward to the users while most time might be more appropriate to remains passive at the background. "

zhong zhuang 3:29:41 11/4/2014

This paper is about a prototype of tangible interface. It is called Tangible Bits. It has three key concepts. First is interactive surfaces, by transforming every surface into digital world, these surfaces become a tangible interface between physical and virtual worlds. The second is coupling of bits and atoms, this is about add computational power to everyday graspable objects such as cards, books, models etc. The third one is ambient media, allow the use of ambient media such as sound, light, airflow and water movement for background interfaces with cyberspace at the periphery of human perception. Around these three key concepts, the paper presents three prototypes, metaDesk and transBoard are for the first two concept, with metaDesk, the desk surface is transformed into a tangible surface and also augmented with an active display and passive lens, then, objects are equipped with computational power, in this case they are called piscon, by putting these piscon on the surface, the surface will respond to these objects, in this example, the author put two model building as piscons, and the surface automatically display a 2D map and align these objects on their corresponding places on the map. With transBoard, the user can write physically on some magnetic cards which are computational( piscons ) and these physical stroke are transformed into digital form, at the same time, stored in the piscons. So the users can actually take these piscons to other boards and display what was stored. The third prototype is ambientRoom, this is for the third key concept. This example complements the foreground applications like metaDesk and transBoard by using ambient media such as light, shadow, sound, airflow and water flow as a mean of communicating. These background communicating should be mostly passive and not intrusive to the user, but when the level of the background changes above some threshold, it should alert the user.

Jose Michael Joseph 7:02:51 11/4/2014

Chapter 2: Getting in touch This chapter talks about the various ways human interaction with the computer could change in the future. It states that in the future the computer itself might look very different from what it looks like today and this phenomenon is called Ubiquitous computing. In the first few paragraphs the author states how currently the computer still looks a lot like how it did back when it was first invented. Surely the machine in itself has got much smaller in size but still the basic form of interaction between humans and computers have remained the same. The author states that this is not a good form of interaction because the interaction between the monitor and human being forces the human to direct all their attention to the screen. Similarly interaction with the keyboard requires both hands thus tying the user to the desk. Thus we require new methods of interaction that are more liberating than those currently being widely used. The author then compares the future of computer interaction to that of solenoids. The author states that solenoids do not have any particular interaction with the user but yet they are ever prevalent in most modern machines and have been continuously getting better. The author states that computers too should be this way where computing is weaved into everyday objects instead of being confined to a fixed location. There are two drawbacks to this argument. Firstly, if there is some mode of interaction between human and any machine then over time it too will have to be updated depending on the advances in technology. So even things like augmented reality would eventually have to be updated just like we update our OS. Secondly, the ever pervasive spread of computers could result in information theft of a much larger scale. With our current grasp of technology where we are unable to completely protect any data, having multiple data locations would be easy pickings for any experienced hacker. The author then talks about the Digital Desk which is a unique way to bring together the world of the bits with the world of atoms. It does so by integrating technology into something fundamental like the desk. It uses natural human actions as input to digital actions that then correspond to results on the screen which is just projected on to the desk. This is a good idea as it uses actions that come intuitively to human beings and thus gives natural affordance. The next point discussed is Virtual Reality and we can already see that this is the field that is gaining the most traction. With the release of equipment such as the Occulus Rift we can be sure that Virtual Reality will be commonplace within half a decade. Although it immerses users in a domain where they use very natural motions such as tilting the head to navigate their world, it still only uses human input from the neck up unless accompanied with special gloves. Thus such a domain is not yet fully using human’s natural actions as inputs. The next innovation under consideration is the Reactive Room. In this the room has an understanding of who is present and does actions to ensure that the meeting conducted is seamless between geographically displaced participants and also that it is recorded. Such a feature is quite common place today and we would say that although it does not fully utilize human actions it still is much better than its predecessors. The main aim of this chapter is to show how bits are getting closer to atoms and how one day the basic interaction between humans and computers will not be restricted to one location but weaved into everyday life. Tangible Bits : Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms This paper is about the effort to integrate bits into every day objects so that users can use their natural actions as input for computing data. It also enables users to be aware of background information using other forms of representation such as light, sound air flow etc. There are three goals as stated in the paper: Interactive surfaces, coupling of bits and atoms and ambient media. These goals would help the user have a more interactive experience according to the author. Currently the user can only interact with the foreground information and all other information is completely neglected. The only way we have compensated for this is by using features such as push notifications and pop ups. Yet these methods also bring information to our foreground and thus require our explicit attention. Thus ideally the solution would be to have an interface system where the information is truly in the background but still accessible to the user in such a way that the user does not have to completely have to focus on it. The paper states that ubiquitous computing is close to this with similar goals. This is because ubiquitous computing attempts to weave computing into everyday objects and thus give much more interactive surfaces. But although this is a good approach it still does not satisfy the third goal of tangible bits which is ambient media. Ubiquitous computing would still need the attention of the user without which it cannot provide subtle information. The next we see is Augmented Reality. We have already discussed in the last paper why it does not fully satisfy Tangible Bits. But in short the reason for this is that it does not use a user’s maximum potential since only input from the neck and eyes and such are taken instead of that of the whole body. Clear Board is a design whereby many surfaces around us become available for shared drawing activity over diverse geographical locations. Again it fails to satisfy the third goal which is that of ambient media. There are other concept designs discussed as well such as Marbles Answering Machine and Live Wire, but their usability is restricted and is used to only stretch the layman’s imagination into what would be the full scope of turning bits into atoms. metaDESK, as discussed by the paper, is a viable option for Tangible Bits. Its application oriented prototype is called Tangible Geospace. This uses the models of landmarks at MIT to enable the user to manipulate the map in 2D or 3D. The activeLENS component of this system is used to create the illusion of 3D for the user by panning the cameras over certain angles. The user is thus able to visually and haptic ally interact with three spaces at once – physical, 2D and 3D. ambinetROOM is a method that uses metaDESK but also uses ambient media as a means of communicating information to the user without having to distract the user. Thus this satisfies all the goals of Tangible Bits. The possible drawback of this method is how retentive the user will be to information that they receive subtly. If the rate of retention is low then such a method would prove negligibly better than the traditional approach. But still this does satisfy all the goals of Tangible Bits and is a great model of a system. The author in conclusion states that GUIs fail to capture the richness of the system since it interacts with the user in a very limited level. The ideal goal would be to create a system that uses a user’s natural interactions as inputs to the system and thus enable the user to be more intuitive with the system.

Xiyao Yin 7:45:04 11/4/2014

In the chapter ‘Getting in Touch ’, the author mainly discusses with aspects including ubiquitous computing, the digital desk, virtual reality and augmented reality, the reactive room, design trends, tangible bits, metaDESK, phicons, and tangible geospace, the ambient room, illuminating light and urp and interacting with tangible computing. In the last part, interacting with tangible computing, the author gives us three general issues in tangible computing. The first issue is that there is no single point of control or interaction and it leads to the second issue that the single point of control that traditional interfaces adopt leads naturally to a sequential organization for interaction, and the third one in tangible design, we use the physical properties of the interface to suggest its use. These issues are concise and precise so I can easily find the difference with previous aspects. Interacting with tangible computing opens up a new set of challenges and a new set of design problems and they still need to be focused on in the future research. ‘Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms’ gives better description on Tangible Bits, which allows users to ‘grasp & manipulate’ bits in the center of users’ attention by coupling the bits with everyday physical objects and architectural surfaces. Also, this paper introduces design projects including the metaDESK, transBOARD and ambientROOM, which are also described in the first passage. Combining with versions in these two passages, I can have a better understand in these aspects. In this paper, I find Tangible UI is quite a useful part so I look for some other description on this. A tangible user interface (TUI) is a user interface in which a person interacts with digital information through the physical environment. The initial name was Graspable User Interface, which is no longer used. The purpose of TUI development is to empower collaboration, learning, and design by giving physical forms to digital information, thus taking advantage of human abilities of grasp and manipulate physical objects and materials. There is just one thing which I am confusing about. In this paper, authors attempt to change ‘painted bits’ into ‘tangible bits’, but I haven’t find detailed methods of this, I think it should be discussed in the future.

Wenchen Wang 8:56:11 11/4/2014

<Tangible Bits><Summary> This paper introduces tangible bits which allows users manipulate bits. The goal of tangible bit is to reduce the gaps between cybersparce and physical objects. <Paper Review> There are three concepts of Tangible bits with three prototype systems: interactive surface, the coupling of bits with graspable physical objects and ambient media for background awareness. MetaDesk and tansborad is foreground objects on interactive surface. ambientROOM is ambient media in background. The metaDESK consists of a nearly horizontal backprojected graphical surface. The ambientROOM complements the graphically-intensive, cognitively-foreground interaction of the mataDESK by using ambient media. transBOARD is a networked difitally-enhanced physical whiteboard designed to explore the concept of interactive surfaces. <Getting in Touch> <Summary>This paper introduces the concept of ubiquitous computing and its applications, such as digitalDesk, tangible bits and reactive room. <Paper Review> The purpose of ubiquitous computing is to allow users use digital device without awareness. DigitalDesk is a very good example, although it has not been used in our real life. It combines real desk with computer desk by using multiple projecters. User will use the desk without aware whether it is a digital desk or real desk. However, interacting with tangible computing opens up a new set of challenges and a new set of design problems. Our understanding of the nature of these problems is quite limited. We need to explore more on ubiquitous computing.

Vivek Punjabi 8:56:45 11/4/2014

Getting in Touch: This chapter describes the evolution of Ubiquitous computing and tangible computing over the past few decades. It compares the desktop computers in 1970s and 21st century and finds many similarities in its structures and ways to interact. Mark Weiser has proposed a program called Ubiquitous computing in 1970s where he saw the development of general purpose computers. He wanted to transform them into many tiny low-cost devices that could be spread around the environment. There were three tracks to this research strategy: computation by the inch which included small devices like electronic tags/badges and computational post-it notes, computation by the foot which included the computational pads of paper similar to laptops and tablets of these days, and computation by the yard which included large wall-sized devices such as LiveBoard. At the same time, Wellner was motivated by Weisner's ideas and he tried to combine the physical and computational world by designing Digital Desk which allowed interaction with papers and electronic devices on the same desktopVirtual reality and Augmented reality came into existence which gave birth to technologies such as Reactive Room, Marble answering machine and Live Wire. All these inventions gave rise to exploration of tangible bits which define the interface between physical and virtual world. The MIT Media lab was researching on this field and produced various products like metaDesk, ambient room, illuminating light and Urp. Thus the interaction with these tangible bits has seen a lot on advancements and still has scope for exploration and opportunities. The author has defined the issues and concerns faced at each level of invention very well. This gives motivation and the correct research direction to thinking in the field of ubiquitous and tangible computing and improve the way humans interact with their virtual counterparts, the computers.

Vivek Punjabi 9:29:42 11/4/2014

Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between people bits and atoms: In this paper, the authors have tried to present their distinguished vision on Tangible Bits. They describe their key concepts using design projects like metaDESK, transBOARD and ambientROOM. Tangible bits attempt to bridge the gap bteween cyberspace and physical environment by making the digital information/bits as tangible. Their three key concepts mentioned are: interactive surfaces which is the transformation of each surface within architectural space into an active interface between the physical and virtual worlds, coupling of bits and atoms which includes seamless coupling of everyday graspable objects with the corresponding digital information and ambient media which uses movements of media such as sound, light, air and water as background interfaces at the periphery of human perception. The author briefly describes many related concepts and works in this field which include ubiquitous computing, augmented reality, ClearBoard, Passive Real-World Interface Props, Bricks, etc. The research prototype of metaDESK is a design where they have tried physically embed many metaphorical devices such as windows, icons and handles into Tangible user interfaces like activeLENS, phicons and passiveLENS. Tangible geospace is a prototype application of this design which uses physical models of landmarks to allow users to manipulate 2D and 3D maps of MIT campus. ambientROOM complements the GUI with communicating through ambient media like light, shadow and sound in the background. They have also tried different prototypes of this design to identify the issues if any. transBoard is a networked digitally enhanced physical whiteboard which absorbs physical information, transform into digital bits and distributes it in cyberspace. They have added many compatibilities to this design while identifying and correcting various issues. At the end, they found many optical metaphors which gives new research directions in this field. Thus, it proposes a new view of interface and raise new set of questions beyond GUI. The paper definitely provides new research areas and interests. However, the designs used to showcase these ideas could have been explained better with more details and facts and figures. This could have given a better insight of their workings. More analogy to bits and atoms can be made from this idea which can explore more directions of research.

Mengsi Lou 15:23:38 11/4/2014

Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms This paper discusses the tangible bits bridges the gap between the worlds of bits and atoms through graspable objects and ambient media in physical environments. And it also illustrate the concept through many cases like design projects including the metaDESK, transBOARD and ambientROOM systems. Tangible Bits allows users to grasp and manipulate bits in the center of users’ attention by coupling the bits with everyday physical objects and architectural surfaces. Tangible Bits is an attempt to bridge the gap between cyberspace and the physical environment by making digital information (bits) tangible. The main concepts of tangible bits are as follows. The first one is the Interactive Surfaces. That is the interface that people can interact with directly. The second one is the Coupling of Bits and Atoms. This is Seamless coupling of everyday graspable objects with the digital information that pertains to them. And the third one is the Ambient Media. This means not only relay on the physical interfaces, it may also include the interfaces around the people. There many related works have been done here. The first case is the Ubiquitous Computing. This is the technical that makes the computational services available through many different devices. The design and location would be tailored to support various tasks. The second one is the Augmented Reality. This is a new research stream which tries to answer the question of how to integrate the real world and computational media. The third one is the ClearBoard. This idea led us to a vision of new architectural spaces where all the surfaces including walls, ceilings, windows, doors and desktops. And there are also cases about the Marble Answering Machine, Live Wire, etc. Currently, the GUI displays the information as painted bits on screens in the foreground that also restrict itself to very limited communication. The use of graspable objects and ambient media will lead us to a much richer multi-sensory experience of digital information. ////////////////////////////////// This chapter talks about the tangible interfaces that illustrated by some actual cases, including the ubiquitous computing, computation by the inch, foot and yard, the digital desk, the virtual reality and augmented reality, the reactive room. The interacting with tangible computing has the challenges and design problems. The theories govern the traditional interaction have limited applicability. The tangible interaction works when the interface is convenient and simple. The main point in tangible computing is that allowing computation manifest for people in the daily life.