Tangible Interfaces

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Reading Critiques

Matthew Barren 18:39:55 10/30/2015

Summary of Getting In Touch: Chapter 2 examines computing that bridges between the physical and virtual world. Dourish looks at research examples of how computing can oscillate between both environments. Getting in Touch uses Weiser’s research and theories as a jumping point to examine technologies that are being integrated in a tangible manner to users. Active badges, pads, and boards are the introduction of many future areas of research, such as context aware computing and personal computing. The Digital Desk research presents an issue that still persists today. The issue being translation between the digital and physical realm. As discussed, when transferring between these two environments key features are lost because of an inability for representation. The solution of the Digital Desk researchers was to provide input and output channels that are extended to both the physical and digital worlds. In the view of the physical realm, a person can have a paper and also project digital information on the same desk space. From the digital environment, a camera reads the information into the computer to be used whenever the individual wants to apply particular information to an application. At the time, this provided a very unique procedure in order to bridge the gap and avoid the transfer loss between digital and physical states of documentation. Currently, there is still a void where a computing device could fill this need. metaDesk is another UI that has the potential to provide new promising elements with tangible features and coordination between phenomena in both the virtual and physical world. With these great ideas, there has still not been a product released to market that provides a worthwhile alternative to the PC station desk. One area that could bring promising interest to consumers is to create experiences that emulate physical world actions seamlessly. For example, many devices today are difficult to write or draw using a stylus or finger. Humans have been trained to scribe with a fine pointed object that runs across a frictioned surface. On the other hand, tablets, mobile phones, and other writing cable devices utilize a glossy screen to provide excellent video quality. These two demands, a frictioned surface and media fidelity, are at odds. Alas, if promising surfaces could deliver a “life-like” feel to writing and drawing there may be a potential demand for these devices in office settings. Summary of Tangible Bits: The researchers of the Tangible Bits project explore three interconnected methods to reduce the gap between the physical and digital world. Their implementations are seen through three projects metaDESK, ambientROOM, and transBOARD. Tangible Bits research does an excellent job of extending the physical realm to the digital realm. One of their subtle, but successful achievements relates to the optical metaphor. In order to cast digital objects into reality, the digital components must behave in a “real world” fashion. Through adjusting the lighting of objects and producing shadows, there is a sense of reality gained. This is a key success because the goal of their research is to provide a seamless transition between the physical and digital world. The only way this can be achieved is if the two realms feel as one. Tangible Bits focuses on providing both foreground and background ambient media, and the ability for users to transition items between these two priority positions. It seems that this runs counter to many of the issues individuals have with computing today. In 1997, the dilemma of attention and focus with computing was not as apparent, which is probably due to not having as many computing devices and access to as many applications at a given moment. Simply considering the paper critique I am typing now, I have to move to a quiet room, turn my phone to silent, and close all unnecessary web browsers. These background bits act as a detractor from completing the task at hand. This is validated by many research papers regarding an individual's locus of attention and the poor quality of human multi-tasking. This is not to say that there are not opportunities with background ambient media. The authors note that information or media displayed in the background is being processed by a human through background communication channels. Rather than refocus the user’s attention background media could target unconscious observations of the user, such as emotions. As the ambient room samples unconscious features the room could adjust sound, displays, lighting, etc. to provide the user with a more suitable environment.

Vineet Raghu 11:13:02 10/31/2015

Getting in Touch The author describes research directions in tangible computing, which represents a departure from the traditional PC model of computing that dominated the market for a substantial period of time. Tangible computing refers to the embedding of computation in the physical world to create an augmented reality situation. Next, the author provides several examples of tangible computing prototypes starting with the digital desk, which solves the problem of having duplicate models in the physical and virtual worlds with each their own benefits and drawbacks (such as a paper for reading). Following this he explains the Reactive Room which uses context of objects and users in the room to adjust the electronics in the room to meet the users’ needs, such as turning on the VCR for recording when a meeting is occurring. One issue here is that the Reactive Room is able to be successful because it is aware that the purpose of the room is solely for meetings, whereas other rooms in a natural setting would not have this luxury. Another contributing area to tangible interfaces is the field of art/design. For these types of interfaces, what these convey and how they convey it is more important than their functionality, unlike typical engineering based systems that focus on efficiency. An example given for this was the Marble Answering Machine where marbles represented voice mail that the user could move around to listen, save, and delete messages accordingly. Overall, the authors mention a few general design principles moving forward that apply to all of the prototypes discussed in the paper. These include the lack of a single point of control, a lack of a sequential nature of interaction, and a knowledge of the general context where the system may be bused. The third principle can in theory begin to mitigate the technical issues posed by the first two. Tangible Bits This paper from MIT Media Lab presents the tangible bits concept, which refers the linking of bits with real, graspable, physical objects as well as ambient media in the background. The specific aim of the group’s research is to give concrete ways to move away from GUI interfaces to more augmented reality interfaces. This concept is explained by example as the authors discuss three prototypes that they have created. The first prototype discussed is the metaDESK, which is an augmented reality desk that uses physical objects on a desk to change the graphical output of a computer. A prototype application for this system is the tangible geospace, which can detect physical models of landmarks, and allows the user to manipulate models in 2D and 3D in software. By changing the orientation of the model on the metaDESK, the user changes the orientation of the model in the graphical display as well. The next prototype discussed was the ambientROOM. Instead of focusing on the foreground attention(or current context attention) of the user, this prototype uses ambient environmental signals to interact with the user. The purpose here is to display information not concerned with the user’s primary task at the moment, but may still be of great importance to the user. An example given is an increasing rainfall sound that correlates with increasing webpage activity. A challenge here is to make the ambient information noticeable without incessantly distracting the user from their current task. One final prototype discussed was the transBOARD. This was designed to explore the transformation of physical world information into bits. The board here appears to the user as an ordinary whiteboard, but it is able to track the pen and eraser of the user using remote sensing techniques. The usefulness of this is that the penstrokes made on the board are stored in a “hyperCARD” which can then be transferred to another computer for later viewing. Overall, the paper did a good job of describing the three prototypes developed at the lab for tangible interfaces. The only drawback I found in this paper was towards the end in the discussion section. It was very unclear to me what the authors were trying to accomplish with this section, and I thought a nicer use of the section would have been to give future research directions in tangible computing, including methods of proving tangible interface’s usefulness to the general public, and giving principles for developing new interfaces learnt through these prototypes.

Ameya Daphalapurkar 16:49:42 10/31/2015

The paper ’Getting in touch’ takes a tour various advancements over time in field of human computer interaction and makes us acquainted with the science of the incremental advancements. Paper starts with the Xerox Alto and the various differences and inventions further in time as compared to the Xerox machine. Marc Weiser further led to the genesis of Ubiquitous Computing. Failing to recognize their own potential for the same Xerox Label is not that existent now. Various types of computation involved by inch, involves the simple electronic tags often described by the Post It notes. The computation by foot encompassed the pads of paper. This generally involved the devices of the size of that of laptops. Next involved Digital Desk which allowed the interaction with paper and electric document on the same desktop. To control the enormous computation a question rose which the Reactive Room answered, it was a meeting room supporting all physical and visual encounters. Tangible Bits the program that incorporates research on both ubiquitous computing and its design aspects. Ambient Room provided peripheral background for help which would reduce distraction. Thus the overall focus falls on interacting with tangible computing.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The paper titled ‘Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms’ talks about the work study of authors on tangible bits, which allow user to grasp and manipulate bits and couple and map them with everyday objects and surfaces. Introduction of various design projects like metaDesk etc are included in the discussion. Main goals of tangible bits encompass interactive surfaces, coupling btis and atoms and ambient media. Related research studies are the ubiquitous computing, augmented reality. ClearBoard included shared space in design drawing and interpersonal place. Marble answering machine, Live Wire are other examples. The paper further exemplifies the depths in science relaed to tangible bits by giving elaborate explanations of transBoard, metaDesk etc. Thus the gaps between bits and atoms are bridged through graspable and other ambient media in physical objects.

Long Nguyen 19:39:26 11/1/2015

Read on "Getting in touch": The paper starts with one very good observation about PC look. Even though components in PC changed so fast for every year, PC itself has not changed its look to users at all, backed from first PC Xerox's Alto. This can easily comes to the question about: Nowadays PC look/ direct interaction to human is optimal yet, or it's not optimal but user has gotten used to it so it cannot change anymore? Then the paper goes through ubiquitous computing, since we know that the paper is written in 90's, ubiquitous is still a new research area and many new ideas/ imaginations can be discovered at that time. Then the paper ended with some ideas about "tangible", with "tangible bits", and "metaDesk", and "ambient room" as prototype example, where the interactions in physical world can be more vivid, touchable, to help users display information and get control of things. I think this is one of the way to answer for the first question: how modern PC should look like, should it still looks the same like forever, or should we use ubiquitous to blend it into the environment, make the interaction between computer and human to be more flexible, changed under the needs of user, not only through a screen. I would love to look forward to a day when machine/computer can interact with humans more natural like in many movies, where it disappears under our normal eyes, but in our needs, it can answer, guide, display in anyform we expect (usage of touchable 3d projector would be cool).---------------------------------------Read on "Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms": I believe this paper was introduced in the first paper, in a very short manner. The paper mentions about the gap between reality world, made of atoms, and computer world, made from bits. The author wants to make this gap closer in GUI interface, where human does not only interact with machine through "painted bits" in 2D screen, but through real/ touchable objects all around the environment by ubiquitous computing. The paper presents the idea with some projects: metaDESK, transBOARD and ambientROOM. I think this idea is really good and approachable in the future; however current technologies cannot support fully for this idea. Even though interacting with object is more natural and maybe can give us more information, currently I myself still prefer to stick with the computer. The most reason is that I'm used to the computer and by using keyboard, mouse, screen, I can do many simple things in which interactions with real world cannot do. One of them is typing this document, I do not believe there exists any other objects can help me type documents faster than a computer.

Adriano Maron 20:39:25 11/1/2015

Getting in Touch: In this chapter, the author discusses about the early efforts for creating new models of interaction that considers not only the desktop computer, buy its surrounding environment. Ubiquitous computing, as first envisioned by Mark Weiser, breaks apart from traditional desktop computing in the sense that small-sized computers are spread in the environment, and the user interacts with such computers explicitly and implicitly. His vision was first made real by the creation of new mobile devices, such as the active badges, pads and liveboards. Digital Desk was created by Pierre Wellner to allow simultaneous manipulation of physical and digital documents. By projecting images over a regular desk, and using a camera to record actions and a auxiliary computer to process the images, it was possible to manipulate digital documents as if they were physical ones. Similarly, physical documents could have their data read by the computer, and operations could be performed based on them. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, although similar, stand for different things. The former creates an entirely virtual environment that the user can explore, while the latter enhances elements of physical world with digital information. The Reactive Room was designed to explore the concepts of ubiquitous computing and context-identification to manage many different sources of inputs from widespread devices. The early efforts described in this chapter raised important concerns about communication, context-awareness and interaction with computers that do not follow the desktop PC paradigm. As seen nowadays, may of those aspects are present in our lives, and with ubiquitous computing (or IoT) going mainstream, such topics become a concern not only for scientists, but also for companies and users that want to take advantage of the benefits of these new computational paradigms. ================================================ Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms: This paper approaches solutions for filling the gap between the physical and the virtual world. With their metaDESK, they were able to use physical objects to control the user interactions with the digital information projected over a regular desk. Actions such as zooming, scrolling, 3D view and magic lenses were enabled by combining the location of the phicons (physical icons) with a camera and a projector over the table. The ambient room extended the concept of the metaDESK by using ambient media - lights, shadows, sound, air flow, water flow - for communicating information. The room experiments on how to use our background processing capabilities to absorb non-essential information. The transBOARD allows collaboration between different users over the same digital representation of the board's contents. Some of the actions first enabled by the metaDESK are current common to our lives. Although not using physical devices to manipulate the information, nowadays we use touchscreen devices to have a similar set of actions as the ones demonstrated by metaDESK. Digital collaboration is also present in our lives. Digital boards and online document sharing and collaboration greatly increase our daily productivity. However, it is important not only to explore all the possible channels that can be used to send information to the user, but also when avoid them. Information overload might have negative effects in our lives, and things like the ambient room might simply have more information than we are capable of handling.

Chi Zhang 22:35:15 11/1/2015

Critiques on “Getting in Touch” by Chi Zhang. This chapter tells about the history and future trend of tangible computing. The author first talks about ubiquitous computing strategies that are computation by the inch, the foot and the yard. Inch, foot and yard, respectively, focus on small device, the development and use of computational devices of about the size and power of recent laptop computers, and larger devices. The authors talk about the Weiser’s attempt to take computation into everyday life and the goal of virtual reality. VR could help the user get absorbed into the computationally generated reality. Later after the Weiser’s work, the Tangible Media group at the MIT Media Lab explored “Tangible Bits”, a program of research that combined aspects of the Ubiquitous Computing program and the design perspective. This is a very good paper, and it introduces the history and future trend of tangible computing. It’s actually providing us very good views to deeply understand current researches on tangible computing. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Critiques on “Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms” by Chi Zhang. This paper introduces Tangible Bits very well. There are 3 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, 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 for background interfaces with cyberspace at the periphery of human perception. There are three prototypes of Tangible Bits: 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 focused on the periphery of human perception. This is a very good introduction paper to Tangible Bits, it talks about details of how Tangible Bits work and the prototypes of TB. The authors give very insightful comments on them.

Manali Shimpi 23:05:10 11/1/2015

Getting in Touch: This paper at the beginning talks about the evaluation of computers from Xerox Alto to apple 2 and so on. The style of interaction with computers concerns the ways in which the computer fits in our environment and our lives. This chapter explains in brief about the research laboratory where the research about alternatives for personal computers is going on. The focus is on the tangible computing approach. The ubiquitous computing means the computation devices would be embedded in all sorts of machines. Hence computers would disappear in the woodwork but the computation would be present everywhere .Computation by inch foot and yard. In this term by inch means development is focused on small devices. By foot is concerned with computationally enhanced parts of paper. By yard is focused on wall sized devices. A digital desk is a physical desktop which is augmented with some distinctly nontraditional components like video projector, video camera etc. The reactive room is a meeting room supporting a variety of virtual and physical encounters. It was used to disambiguate the actions of the people in the room. -----------Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms: The paper explains about the tangible bits which allows user to grasp and manipulate bits. It also aware user of background bits at the periphery of human perception using ambient display media. The three key concepts of Tangible Bits are interactive surfaces, the coupling of bits with graspable physical objects and ambient media for background awareness. Graspable User Interfaces allow direct control of virtual objects through physical handles called bricks. There are three prototypes of tangible bits ; metaDESK , transBOARD and ambientROOM. Tangible Geospace is a prototype application of the metaDESK platform which uses physical models of landmarks to allow the user to manipulate 2D and 3D graphical maps. A transBOARD is nearly the same as an ordinary whiteboard which was implemented on a SoftBoard™ product from Microfield Graphics to monitor the activity of tagged physical pens and erasers with a scanning infrared laser. The use of graspable objects and ambient media will lead us to a much richer multi-sensory experience of digital information.

Darshan Balakrishna Shetty 23:40:44 11/1/2015

Getting in Touch :In this article the notions of Ubiquitous computing and Tangible interfaces are presented and also a number of previous approaches towards till date. The article starts with the lack of change in computing systems, 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 machine's context-unaware nature is demonstrated and then the presentation of ubiquitous computing unfolds. 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. Ubiquitous computing with tangible interfaces is indeed an important research field, which will provide a plethora of advantages to Computer Science. ------------------------------------------------------------- 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 (i) surfaces, (ii) coupling of objects with bits, and (iii) 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. The ambientROOM mostly 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. 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.

Lei Zhao 0:46:52 11/2/2015

Tangible Bits: This paper introduces a method called tangible bits that can allow users to manipulate bits. The goal of this idea is to reduce the gaps between cybersparce and physical objects. 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: This paper introduces the concept of ubiquitous computing and its applications, such as digitalDesk, tangible bits and reactive room. 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.

Xinyue Huang 2:29:17 11/2/2015

Getting in touch The paper introduced some concepts such as ubiquitous computing, computation by the inch, foot, and yard. Computation by the inch focused on the development of small devices, like electronic tags or computational “post-it” notes. Computation “by the foot” was concerned with computationally enhanced pads of paper. The primary of focus of this area of work was the development and use of computational devices of about the size and power of recent laptop computers. Investigation into computation “by the yard” introduced the opportunity to consider much larger devices. It also introduced the digital desk, which is designed and developed by Wellner, who was concerned with how we could work with both paper and electronic documents in a much more fluid and seamless way than is normally the case. Wellner’s work on the digital desk considered how, once the real world was a site of computational activity, the real and electronic worlds could actually work together. The paper also introduced virtual reality and augmented reality. Virtual reality is, at least in the popular consciousness, a technology of recent times. Immersive VR today came about through the increase in computer power, and particularly graphics processing, that became available in the late 1980s, as well as some radical sensor developments that gave us data gloves and body suits. Virtual reality immerses the user in a computationally generated reality. Besides these, it also introduced some concepts like the reactive room, design trends, tangible bits, metaDESK, Phicons, and Tangible Geospace, the ambient room, illuminating light and up. For tangible computing, there might be a wide range of forms. It might be used to address problems in highly focused and task-specific work, or in more passive awareness of activities in the real world or the electronic. It might attempt to take familiar objects and invest them with computation, or it might present us with entirely new artifacts that disclose something of the hidden world inside the software system. Tangible Bits: Towards seamless interface between people, bits and atoms. The paper presents our vision of human computer ineraction: 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 bring the gaps between both cyberspace and the physical environment, as well as the foreground and background of human activities. “Tangible Bits” is an attempt to bridge the gap between cyberspace and the physical environment by making digital information (bits) tangible. The key concepts are: interactive surfaces, coupling of bits and atoms, and ambient media. There are some related work with tangible bits such as ubiquitous computing, augmented reality, clearboard, passive real-world interface props, marble answering machine, and live wire. There are some prototypes for tangible bits. For example, in metaDesk they have tried to push back from GUIs into the real world, physically embodying many of the metaphorical devices they have popularized. Tangible geospace is a prototype application of the metaDESK platform. It uses physical models of landmarks such as MIT’s great dome and media lab buildings as phi cons to allow the user to manipulate graphical maps of the MIT campus. The ambientROOM complements the graphically-intensive, cognitively-foreground interactions of the metaDESK by using ambient media as a means for communicating information at the periphery of human perception. The transBOARD is a networked digitally-enhanced physical whiteboard designed to explore the concept of interactive surfaces which absorb information from the physical world, transforming this data into bits and distributing it into cyberspace.

Samanvoy Panati 2:31:39 11/2/2015

Critique 1: Getting in Touch In this chapter, the author describes about ubiquitous computing and tangible interfaces. He starts with traditional desktops and the developing trend of today’s technology. He points out that the change in desktops over 2 decades is very little. Then he brings up the concept of ubiquitous computing and about the research done in Xerox PARC under Marc Weiser. He clearly explained about the devices built in the research program, computation done in inch, foot and yard and about the digital desk. Then he explains the concept of tangible computing and illustrates reality room experiment showing the benefits of the paradigm for managing configurations automatically in a reactive environment. Finally, he summarizes with some issues that need to be resolved by tangible interfaces and the magnitude of their importance to the users. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Critique 2: Tangible bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms The authors illustrate their view of the future of tangible interfaces and explain it through several projects, such as the metaDESK, transBOARD, and ambientROOM systems. Along with the introduction, a number of prototypes are given that follow the approach of integrating the computation in the environment. These prototypes are divided into 3 categories namely surfaces, coupling of objects with bits and ambient media. Interactive surface is defined as something that could transform each surface within architectural space like walls, desktops, ceilings, doors, windows into an active interface between the physical and virtual worlds. Coupling of Bits and Atoms is called 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. After these, the prototypes stated above are discussed. metaDESK and transBOARD are the systems for exploring the use of physical objects as a means to manipulate bits in the center of user’s attention. AmbientROOM is about the periphery of human perception. Finally, the authors have presented their vision to bridge the gap between the world of bits and atoms through graspable objects and ambient media in physical environments.

Zinan Zhang 3:30:14 11/2/2015

For the Tangible Bits------ This paper mainly focuses on how to make the bits manipulate tangible. That is, people can add or remove the bits in the real world rather than operate them in the virtual world. And the authors present three models that are quite important for the tangible bits. Manipulate the bits directly in the real world sounds quite fascinating. Although human can write codes on the computer with keyboards or some other kinds of input device, it is still not convenience enough. For example, by the techniques people have now, the most time easy way to design a computer program is to write lots paragraphs of codes separately with a keyboard. Even if you have accomplished the codes and get clear about the structure, it is not easy to organize them into an integer. Since they are couples of codes, you cannot get them together before you communicate with each creator of them. However, if you can manipulate the bits directly, the result is totally different. You can quite clear about the structure of your code when you write them because they are just on the board and you can edit them just with your hands. In addition, it is also convenience when you put them together. The reason is you can operate them just by your hands as well. Perhaps just like the game of building with blocks, easy and fun. After all, your hands are much more flexible than any other input device such as mouse, keyboard or microphone. Besides, authors introduce another more advanced device than board, called ambientROOM. It looks like a normal room but equipped with many different kinds of advanced technology. With the help of the ambientROOM, people can edit bits with a much higher efficient. =============================================== For getting in touch-------- This chapter of the book also mainly talks about the tangible bits. The author presents some kinds of tangible bits computer systems and tries to find some feature in common for the next step development of this field. The author says that there is not only one single point of control or interaction. That true. Our traditional input devices are mouse, keyboard or microphone… all of them can only input one thing at a time. We can use the mouse to click one icon at one time rather than click two different icons on the screen at a time; we can input only one human voice and translate them into word strings at one time rather than two people’ voice. But with the help of the tangible computing, we can do realty click two icons on the board with two hands, which largely reduce the operating time. However, this kind of novel technique is bound difficult to realize. There are so many barriers in front of it. For example, how to solve the problem of the interaction device’s size? Since there are lots of interactions with the real world, there must be equipped with thousands of sensor on it, which will rapidly increase the size of the equipment. Now, the computers are thin and portable, no body wants a big and clumsy machine to use with. Even though the new machine somehow convenient than the currently laptop, human will prefer the portable laptop to the big machine.

Shijia Liu 5:02:07 11/2/2015

Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms: This paper mainly shows us the relationship of Tangible Bits of bits and atoms. Additionally, "Tangible Bits" is an attempt to bridge the gap between cyberspace and the physical environment by making digital information tangible. The author also think that objects and ambient media will lead us to a much richer experience of digital information. Furthermore, this paper also talked about the tangible bits acts like research phototypes, something like metaDestk, it push back from GUIs into the real world, and on another side, GUIs is defect for embracing the richness of human senses and skills people have developed through a lifetime of interaction with the physical world.

Mahbaneh Eshaghzadeh Torbati 8:10:41 11/2/2015

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.

Mingda Zhang 8:41:15 11/2/2015

Getting in Touch This chapter reviews the history of tangible computing and describes the trends of tangible interaction. The authors first summarize the progress of personal computer development during the past twenty years. Specifically, ever since the Apple II becomes mainstream little change has been made about the PC, especially how we interact with it. That's how the tangible computing might be the rescue. Later the authors turn to a familiar idea of ubiquitous computing, which we have discussed in previous lectures. The authors use computation by the inch, by the foot and by the yard to represent the pad, tab and board. According to the authors, Wellner's digital desk is a milestone discovery in tangible interfaces. Firstly, it supports direct manipulation, such as moving objects around the desk using finger. This operation highly resembles the actual behaviors of our daily life. Secondly, it is highly integrated with the physical worlds. As described by Weiser, true ubiquitous computing is invisible to users, although they actually are everywhere. In the end, the authors describe the Tangible Bits project developed in MIT Media Lab. This work is demonstrated in more detail in the second paper required for this lecture. Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms This paper illustrates the ideas and efforts of researchers at MIT to design the tangible interfaces. At first glance, the concept of tangible bits seems familiar with ubiquitous computing, but it actually has a more concentrated focus with ubiquitous computing. For tangible interfaces, emphasis is on the graphical user interface and interaction style. In this paper, the authors used three concepts to demonstrate their ideas, aka. metaDesk, transBOARD and ambientROOM. metaDEST represents putting graphical user interface elements on to a desk. By using actual object in real life to replace graphical user interface elements, users can directly interact with the system in a more natural way. transBOARD is a digital enhancement of white board. The information written on the white board is transformed into digital types for further analysis. ambientROOM is a room armed with ambient media. It is more like the concept of virtual reality as we covered in previous lectures. From my perspective, some pioneering companies have made great progress in discovering tangible interfaces in their products, such as Microsoft Xbox. However, I do not believe that is the best we could do in improving user experiences. It is a good start, but it is definitely not the finish line.

Jesse Davis 8:41:53 11/2/2015

Getting in Touch This paper was an interesting excerpt that went over some of the ways that HCI is becoming more and more prominent. It begins by covering some of the subjects that we’ve already looked at such as ubiquitous computing, interactive desks, interactive boards etc. It also provides a lot of examples of how the evolution of the PC has come about and how computing is everywhere and will only continue to grow. Some of the important examples include: Virtual and Augmented Reality (making great strides currently with things like the Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard; an example from this paper would be the data-glove (can project the user’s hand into virtual space)), The Reactive Room (similar to modern day meeting rooms that are able to host remote users as well as change appropriately depending on whether the users will actually be in the room, be streaming, be from a different location/time, etc.), Tangible Bits (covered in the next paper), and Urp (urban planning tool that allows for the user to visualize features such as air flow, shadows, reflectance, etc. All in all a good paper with copious amounts of good examples provided to the reader. Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms This paper focuses on bridging the physical world to the bit world. As the “Getting in Touch” excerpt mentioned, they try to go from atoms to bits such that the user is able to interact with the computer/computing/information in a tangible way. However, as the excerpt also mentioned, while there’s a similarity in information, there isn’t in representation which is what this study tries to resolve (NOTE: should also be mentioned that they state they are not trying to attempt to resolve a single problem, but to provide a new outlook on HCI and thus provide possible answers/different research directions). The big 3 prototypes that this paper came up with in order to allow for users to interact with this tangible bits are the metaDESK, the transBOARD, and the ambientROOM. The metaDESK utilizes tangible and graphical UIs to bring a different way of interacting with something such as a map (as displayed by the Tangible Geospace app on metaDESK). They use an active and passive lens for navigation and user input. Things get really fun with the ambientROOM as they use physical icons (phicons) to let the user interact with different types of data. The interesting example they gave was a toy car phicon in the scenario of working at toy factory. You could perhaps move the phicon towards a speaker to hear different sounds based on internet activity for the newly designed toy car. TransBOARD was pretty interesting and I thought it built on the marble example from the Getting in Touch excerpt in that the users could watch sessions and then store said sessions on hyperCARD’s for later use. Very interesting paper overall and I feel like it more than likely generated a lot of interesting research post-publish.

Ankita Mohapatra 8:42:33 11/2/2015

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.

Kent W. Nixon 9:04:02 11/2/2015

Getting in Touch This reading is a book chapter that provides an extensive overview of tangible computing, relating it back to the ubiquitous computing tasks we discussed in class last week. It starts with a discussion of how Xerox PARC made some of the first forays into tangible computing through exploration of ubiquitous computing by the inch, foot, and yard. This section was very interesting, as there could be observed a distinct “Star Trek” vibe in many of the technologies they developed, such as the ID badges that allowed a system to track where you were and have information follow you to those locations. It’s pretty awesome this was already being done in the late 80’s. Unfortunately, I have yet to see any system like that in practice. The rest of the chapter discusses several ideas that have been forwarded as tangible interfaces, such as rooms with ambient information signaled via noise or light, objects that themselves contain information, and other that function as handles into a virtual world. The general idea seems to be allowing for a richer interaction between a user and their PC by projecting the interaction into the physical space, which while difficult for a PC to understand, is immediately recognizable and comfortable for us as humans. This was a very interesting reading, and while that end which basically reviewed what was said in the next paper got a little samey, it surprised me in that some of the demonstrated ideas which seem so science-fiction were demonstrated and working more than 30 years ago. Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms This paper discussed in detail some of the work done in tangible user interfaces by the MIT lab discussed briefly in the other reading. The authors state that while previous tools and methods of computation had physical form matching function, and allowed for a rich interaction between them and users, modern computing devices are simply a flat screen that people sit in front of and type. The authors feel that changing this would allow for many more novel and interesting interaction between users and their computer, namely by utilizing ambient information channels which at this point are entirely neglected. The authors discuss 3 prototype tangible interfaces they created. The first is metaDesk, which allows interacting with a map through a natural interface, with physical places represented by physical models or phicons, with multiple screens that can be positioned to provide different information. The second, ambientRoom, utilized physical objects, as well as light, within the room to represent various data that may be interesting to users, but may not necessarily have been their direct focus. An example given was website activity, which was represented as either the sound of rain or as a changing light source. The final prototype shown was transBoard, which provided some level of telepresence for multiple parties at meetings involving a white board, while also allowing the representation of items drawn on the board as physical card which could be taken to other locations and used to recall the meeting. The ideas presented in this paper were very interesting. However, my concern with tangible interfaces is that they result in a lot of clutter, and would require dedicated hardware for every possible task a user would wish to perform. This is perhaps why a 2D display is so ubiquitous today – it can be easily configured to match any content type the user wants to interact with.

Zihao Zhao 10:44:20 11/2/2015

“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.