Tangible Interfaces

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Readings

Reading Critiques

Haoran Zhang 20:28:14 10/5/2016

Getting in Touch: In this article, it talked about tangible computing. When the author wrote that article, the computer had been developed too many years. However, the desktop computer had not changed too much. Thus, author think tangible computer will be a trend of future computer. The author introduced ubiquitous computing a little bit, because it will involve different size of devices, such as active badge, PARC tab, PARC pad, and Liveboard. The author talked about a digital desk, which is allow users to interaction with paper and electronic documents on the same desktop. Then the author talked about virtual reality and augmented reality. And other tangible application, or devices. In my opinion, virtual reality and augmented reality are the hottest topic in the world. Many years ago, people focus on augmented reality, because we can use a lot of sensors to let computers or mobile devices to know the environment around, and give necessary information to support our daily life. Today, with the development of technology, virtual reality become true. There are too many VR devices you can buy in the shop. And they will provide you a virtual reality experience. Tangible computing can give us another way to use computer. Even though it may not replace normal desktop computer, it absolutely provides a better solution to control computer in some scenarios. Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms: In this paper, authors introduced their vision of human computer interaction, named Tangible Bits. This thing also be mentioned in the last article. In this paper, authors present their vision of Tangible Bits and introduced design projects including the metaDESK, transBOARD and ambientROOM systems to illustrate their key concepts. They just present the problem, and give a view, but not a directly solution. Actually, I think in human computer interaction, it is hard to find out a so called “best” solution. Tangible Bits bridges the gap between the worlds of bits and atoms through graspable objects and ambient media in physical environments. Back to the original point, authors think virtual reality and augmented reality are really important in the future which is true. Nowadays, people are focus on VR and AR topics, many software or products were produced by industry. Normal people can use them without professional knowledge, or a lot of money. This shows a trend of human computer interaction, which is using human body to control the computer, and use computer to create an immersion experience.

Zhenjiang Fan 1:40:28 10/10/2016

Getting in Touch::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: The article takes us to go over several concepts or research topics that have been around for a while, such as ubiquitous computing, the digital desk, virtual reality, augmented reality, the reactive room, the marble answering machine, the live wire, tangible bits, and other MIT research topics. The author perfectly describes the concept of ubiquitous computing, a concept that brought up by Mark Weiser. As Weiser argued for a vision of computers in which the computer had become so ubiquitous that it had disappeared somehow. Computers would disappear into the woodwork and computers would be nowhere to be seen, and yet computation would be everywhere. Ubiquitous computing strategy followed three tracks; computation by the inch, the foot, and the yard. Computation by the inch means small electronic devices, such as devices like badges. Computation by the foot means devices like pads, laptops or tablets. These kinds of devices are supposed to be mobile so that they can be moved from place to place. Computation by the yard means large display devices. They are important parts of ubiquitous computing because they can satisfy the need of group activities. So the focus of the ubiquitous computing research was that computation can be integrated with the everyday environment and everyday environment is filled with a variety of computing devices. Then the author continues to discuss another PARC program, called Digital Desk. The Digital Desk was designed and developed by Pierre Wellner. Wellner's vision was that electronic documents and physical paper documents could perfectly replace each other, in a way that users could take advantages of each of them. Then the virtual reality and augmented reality were brought up. The Reactive Room was supposed to be a good example of ubiquitous computing, an approach to supporting collaboration and interaction through a combination of audio, video, and computational technologies. Then the author brought up the concept of Tangible Computing, to this subject, the author introduced two works: Marble Answering Machine and Live Wire, developed by Durrell Bishop and Natalie Jaremijenko respectively. And the author introduces other MIT research on the subject. The main focus of this article is focused on the concept of Tangible Computing.  ::::::::::::::::::::::Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms:::::::::::::::: As the last reading material introduced, the tangible computing, is a very intersting research area. Tangible Bits allows users to "grasp & manipulate" bits in the center of users’ attention by coupling the bits with everyday physical objects and architectural surfaces. Tangible Bits also enables users to be aware of background bits at the periphery of human perception using ambient display media such as light, sound, airflow, and water movement in an augmented space. The goal of Tangible Bits is to bridge the gaps between both cyberspace and the physical environment, as well as the foreground and background of human activities. The paper defines a way to connect the digital world to the physical world. "Tangible Bits" is an attempt to bridge the gap between cyberspace and the physical environment by making digital information (bits) tangible. The paper also introduces lots of related research topic that can either let users control virtual or digital objects on the computer bu manipulating physical objects or let computers devices mimic the physical objects.

Tazin Afrin 1:17:36 10/17/2016

Critique of “Getting in Touch”: ‘Tangible Computing’ is a rather new term that we use today, but it’s history stretches back to 80s and 90s. It is the relationship between physical and virtual world and the interaction including human. In this chapter, the author described some early technologies and examples of smart computing and also discussed the new technologies and the tangible bits. Mark Weiser from Xerox PARC proposed a new and radical vision for technology as ubiquitous computing. He argued that the future computer technology would introduce a new way we interact with computers, that the computers would be so ubiquitous that it would disappear. Active badges, PARC Tab and PARC Pad are some example of innovations where they focused on small sized computing devices which can interact with physical world components. Wellner’s digital desk could interact with paper and electronic documents on the desktop which is an example of ubiquitous computing and which showed how computing could be brought out of the box. A more popular technology is virtual reality. But it also immersed in 1990s. It is a mediated consensual hallucination in which human and technology interact. Both ubiquitous computing and virtual reality are based on the computing immersion of computer-generated reality. The MIT Tangible media group are working to reveal a direct focus on the internet between and physical and virtual world. It gives the idea of transferring atom to bits and tries to fill the gap of previous technologies. However, tangible computing opens up some new questions such as, what are the important features and what are not. But technology should evolve in a way so that it becomes naturally meaningful to human. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Critique of “Tangible bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms”: This paper presents the vision of Tangible Media Group from MIT for human computer interaction. Tangible Bits enables users to observer front and background human periphery by using light, sound, air, water, motion etc. in an augmented space. This paper talks about the future of HCI and also introduce some design projects such as metaDESK, transBOARD and ambientROOM. In a typical HCI the interface is the desktop of a PC, but the in Tangible user interface the interface will be the world. The goal of tangible bits is to bridge the gap between physical environment and the cyberspace. The key ideas are, interactive surface like walls and doors, seamless coupling of everyday graspable objects and ambient media such as sound and air. A metaDESK combines some real world physical objects such as lens, phicon with the current virtual GUI. An example prototype is Tangible Geospace which let the users explore the MIT campus map. The ambientROOM uses light, air etc. to convey information. A transBOARD is a digitally enhanced physical board which absorb information form the physical world and tranfers to the computer. Instead of restricting the user interface into the rectangular screen of the computer, tangible bits attemps to expand it to the physical world around a human. Because the authors think, current GUI is not sufficient and cannot capture the human skill properly. Rather a Tangible GUI is better in utilizing human skill and in future it will become ubiquitous.

Steven Faurie 15:36:17 10/19/2016

Steve Faurie Getting in Touch: This chapter describes some of the PARC developments we had talked about earlier. The tabs and interactive white boards were discussed, as was the idea of trying to integrate computers seamlessly into a person’s life rather than requiring them to sit down at a computer to interact with it. The digital desk was discussed. This was essentially a projector and camera above the desk that allowed you to interact with electronic documents as if they were paper or add electronic functionality to paper documents. Virtual reality and something called the Reactive Room were discussed as well. The reactive room designed as a sort of super video conference room with recording capabilities too. The idea of virtual reality has been relatively similar since the time this article was published. The article also discussed the Tangible Bit group, which is the subject of the other paper in our reading. The Tangible bit group developed desk type applications as well. While I think there is still interest in the types of systems described in this paper I don’t think they have been realized yet. For instance I can think of many cases where a giant capacitive touch whiteboard would be very useful. I have yet to see one anywhere. It is interesting to see the early developments of these ideas and it will be interesting to see if popular versions of them become available some time in the future……………….. Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People Bits and Atoms: This paper focuses on merging computing and real world interactions. They reviewed several systems that had preceded theirs including those described in “ubiquitous computing” that we had read earlier. The first product described is the metaDESK. Essentially it is a desk with a screen as a surface that lets you place physical objects on top of it that interact with the projection on the desk. You could implement something very similar these days with a massive capacitive touch screen desk. The next project described was ambientROOM. ambientRoom attempts to interact with users on the periphery of their senses by using slight cues like noise or breeze, etc to allow humans to take in information without having to explicitly interact with it. transBOARD allowed people to sharing drawing over the internet. It was essentially a screen share of something like MSPaint with the added addition of saving your files by scanning a barcode, then associating that file with that barcode rather than a file name.

Anuradha Kulkarni 20:03:07 10/19/2016

Getting in Touch: This chapter presents the history and future trend of tangible computing. The chapter begins with the observation about the PC. Then the chapter goes through ubiquitous computing. Ubiquitous is still a new research area and many new ideas/ imaginations can be discovered at that time. Then the chapter ends 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. Overall the chapter provided good ideas in the line of research. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms: This paper gives an insight about the tangible Bits. Tangible Bits have 3 components: Interactive Surfaces, Coupling of Bits and Atoms, Ambient Media. Interactive surfaces is a concept that 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. The paper presents the idea with some projects: metaDESK, transBOARD and ambientROOM. Overall the paper was a good read giving good insight about Tangible Bits.

Anuradha Kulkarni 20:05:06 10/19/2016

Getting in Touch: This chapter presents the history and future trend of tangible computing. The chapter begins with the observation about the PC. Then the chapter goes through ubiquitous computing. Ubiquitous is still a new research area and many new ideas/ imaginations can be discovered at that time. Then the chapter ends 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. Overall the chapter provided good ideas in the line of research. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms: This paper gives an insight about the tangible Bits. Tangible Bits have 3 components: Interactive Surfaces, Coupling of Bits and Atoms, Ambient Media. Interactive surfaces is a concept that 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. The paper presents the idea with some projects: metaDESK, transBOARD and ambientROOM. Overall the paper was a good read giving good insight about Tangible Bits.

Xiaozhong Zhang 23:02:10 10/19/2016

Getting in Touch This chapter reviews the history of tangible computing and describes the trends of tangible interaction. The authors first summarized the progress of personal computer development during the past twenty years. Specifically, ever since the Apple II became mainstream little change had been made about the PC, especially how we interact with it. That's how the tangible computing might be the rescue. Later the authors turned to a familiar idea of ubiquitous computing, which we have discussed in previous lectures. The authors used 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 was 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 described 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 presented the author's vision of Tangible Bits which bridges the gap between the worlds of bits and atoms through graspable objects and ambient media in physical environments. In the paper, the author claimed that GUI-based HCI at that time displayed all information as "painted bits" on rectangular screens in the foreground, thus restricting itself to very limited communication channels. The author further added that GUIs fall short of embracing the richness of human senses and skills people have developed through a lifetime of interaction with the physical world. The author's attempt was to change "painted bits" into "tangible bits" by taking advantage of multiple senses and the multimodality of human interactions with the real world, because the author believed that the use of graspable objects and ambient media would lead people to a much richer multi-sensory experience of digital information.

Debarun Das 23:23:24 10/19/2016

“Getting in Touch” ::: This paper discusses about the different research advancements over time in field of tangible computing and ubiquitous computing. It introduces concepts of computation by the inch, foot, and the yard. Computation by the inch is focused on the small devices, computation by foot focuses on the medium sized devices (like a present day laptop) and computation by the yard focuses on much larger devices. It also explains somewhat the facilities of the lab where such research was being conducted at that time (which was quite interesting) . It further discusses about an application of these ideas called “Digital Desk” and the concepts of Virtual reality and Augmented Reality in great details. One of the very interesting projects discussed is that of the Ambient Room. Finally, we get some ideas about how to interact with tangible computing. In my opinion, this is an interesting read as it discusses about the new advancements and the concepts related to this field. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- “Tangible Bits::: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms” : This paper introduces the concept of tangible bits. This allows the user to change bits for communicating with the cyberspace (or the virtual world) with the help of physical objects. Again, it goes on to discuss about the ideas of augmented reality, ubiquitous computing and tangible computing. Then, it goes on to present some of the research prototypes in this field (like metaDesk, transBoard and ambientRoom). This is again a very interesting paper that presents us the vision of changing “painted bits to tangible bits” (in the authors’ words), or in other words to bridge the gap between virtual reality and physical environment by using tangible bits.

Zuha Agha 23:43:48 10/19/2016

Getting in Touch: This paper talks about the history of tangible computing and the changes to the era of personal computers over time. The rise of ubiquitous computing has brought attention to tangible computing, that bridges the gap of interaction between the digital world and the physical world by integrating physical objects and surfaces. The paper provides several early examples of tangible computing such as Digital Desk and Reactive Room. Digital desk allows managing digital documents using touch and gestures on a desk surface. Likewise, Reactive Room is an application that provide features of a smart meeting room with automatic controls for starting the VCR for recording when the meeting is about to start. Such examples demonstrate that tangible computing allow a natural way for the user to interact with the environment. I think the paper is important as it one of the earliest works that describe important aspects of interaction involved in tangible computing, the efforts that may have contributed to phenomenal applications in virtual and augmented reality today such as Oculus Rift and Holo lens. ======================================================= Tangible Bits - Towards Seamless Interfaces Between People, Bits and Atoms: This paper’s theme also revolved around tangible interfaces with focus on interactive surfaces, coupling of bits with graphical physical objects and striking a balance between awareness of background and foreground media in interfaces. It studies these idea with three different applications: metaDESK, transBOARD, and ambientROOM. metaDESK experiments with letting user play with GUI elements on a desk, transBOARD is a special whiteboard that digitizes handwritten text and ambientROOM is a room that utilizes ambient signals for user interaction but do not shift user focus. In my opinion the ideas and examples in the paper were interesting but no user or statistical study has been conducted to validate the claims in the paper.

nannan wen 0:04:47 10/20/2016

“Getting in Touch” by Paul Dourish in Where the Action Is review: In this chapter, the author keeps track of a short history of the user interfaces. From the invention of graphical user interfaces by control of a mouse and keyboard to the emerging technology of tangible interfaces. The author argues that computer have evolved very quickly over the years, but the mode of interaction between users and computers are still in the forms of keyboard and mouse. He hopes to bring ubiquitous computing and tangible interfaces into HCI so that the way how human interacts with computer can have revolutions. The author refers to tangible computing as the embedding of computation in the physical world to create an augmented reality situation. Then the author provides some examples for tangible computing. Then he gives an example Reactive Room where the system can adjust the electronics in the room based on the needs of the user, for example, it can turn on the VCR when there’s a meeting going on. But one drawback here is that it works for this meeting room, but might not for ordinary function room. Another contributing area to tangible interfaces is the field of art/design. How people’s opinion for these systems are more important than the functionality. Then the author proposed some ideas about tangible, with tangible bits, and metaDesk as examples to show ways how technologies can make interactions with people more vivid, touchable, to help users display information and get control of things more easily. I think this is a good chapter, for that the author give us some history of how the PC evolves, and how should the interaction with human change. It provided a direction for how should computer interacts with human in the future. “Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms” by Hiroshi Ishii and Brygg Ullmer review: At the beginning of the paper, the author explained the purpose of creating a tangible user interface is to move the virtual desktop environment a step closer to the physical representation by allowing user to mulapulate virtual representation using physical objects. They gives three different prototypes, two for the usage of foreground objects, one for background environment. The first prototype is metaDESK, which is an augmented reality desk which can use physical objects on a desk to change the graphical output of the computer. User can change the orientation of the model in the graphical display by changing the orientation of the model on the metaDESK. Then they discussed ambientROOM. The propose for this one is to display information not concerned with the user’s primary task at the moment but may still useful. I think this is a noval idea, it can improve the way how human and computer interacts in the future.

Keren Ye 8:55:04 10/20/2016

Getting in Touch The chapter takes a brief tour through research laboratories and focuses on an approach that looks at the relation between computers on the desktop and the world in which they operate. This is the the interaction what the paper refers to as “tangible computing”. In the historic tour, the authors firstly introduce ubiquitous computing and works done by Xerox PARC. They refer to Weiser’s argument that “creating a variety of specialized devices augmented with computational power. Computers would disappear into the woodwork; computers would be nowhere to be seen, but computation would be everywhere”. Then, the chapter discusses computation by the inch, which focused on the development of small devices, like electronic tags or computational “Post-It” notes. Digital Desk made by Cambridge Xerox lab is the next topic discussed. It mainly focuses on “paperless office”. It is a combination of physical desktop and virtual one. Virtual reality and augmented reality are discussed later. The virtual reality immerse the user in a computationally generated reality yet the ubiquitous computing is more about augmented reality. It moves the computer into the real world. Reactive room by University of Toronto is introduced. It demonstrated the way that ubiquitous computing did not simply move out of the box on the desk and into the environment but also got involved in the relationship between the environment and the activities that took place there. In the next part of the chapter, the authors discuss about the design trends of ubiquitous computing, i.e., tangible bits. “In order to support human activity, computation needs to move into the environment in which that activity unfolds”. The term “tangible bits” reveals a direct focus on the interface between the physical and virtual worlds. There are also some examples provided by the author. The first example is from the Tangible Bits group, metaDESK, Phicons and Tangible Geospace are introduced. Then ambient room and illuminating light and Urp are introduced. Finally the chapter talks about interacting with tangible computing. There are both challenges and chances. Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms Tangible Bits is also presented in “Getting in Touch”. This paper presents a vision of Human Computer Interaction, “Tangible Bits”. It allows users to grasp and manipulate bits in the center of users’ attention by coupling the bits with everyday physical objects and architectural surfaces. Three key concepts are described: interactive surface, the coupling of bits with graspable physical objects; and ambient media for background awareness. Three prototype systems, the metaDESK, transBOARD, and ambientROOM are introduced. The paper firstly mentions related works including ubiquitous computing, augmented reality, ClearBoard, passive real-world interface props, Bricks: graspable user interface, Marble answering machine, Live Wire, Fields and THresholds: benches. After introducing these related work, the paper proposes the Tangible Bits. Three prototype, metaDESK, transBOARD, and ambientROOM are mentioned in details. The authors’ attempt is to change "painted bits" into "tangible bits" by taking advantage of multiple senses and the multimodality of human interactions with the real world. They believe the use of graspable objects and ambient media will lead them to a much richer multi-sensory experience of digital information.

Alireza Samadian Zakaria 9:21:04 10/20/2016

According to the first reading, computers have undergone such a rapid advances which we cannot find in any other technology; however, the shape of the computer has not changed a lot. The paper, at first, talks about ubiquitous computing. The vision of ubiquitous computing was proposed by Weiser at first and it consisted of computationally enhanced walls and floors. They launched a research program in which the strategy followed three tracks: “computation by the inch” focused on small devices like active badges and palm size computers. “Computation by the foot” was concerned with computationally enhanced pads of papers and “computation by the yard” was about larger devices such as Live-Board. In that time, in another Xerox lab, there was another research focused on human-computer interaction; they designed the Digital Desk which was a smart desk with some abilities like showing electronic contents and changing real papers to electronic contents by its camera. Furthermore, they took some steps toward virtual reality like data-glove which is a glove augmented with sensors which report the position of the hands. However, this field is more popular today since we have more computational a graphical power than that time. The author also talks about the reactive room which was a room in which they used the context of the environment in the interaction between computer and human. In that example, the room was a meeting room and the computers were designed for this purpose. Tangible interfaces is another concept which the author talks about; they were used in the ambient room which was a small office augmented with many ambient displays to provide background information by the means such as light patterns changing. At the end, the paper focuses on interacting with tangible computing and it illuminates some of the differences between tangible computing and traditional computers such as the fact that there was a single center of interaction in the traditional interactive systems unlike the tangible computing in which we have many points of control. ------------------ The second paper says we are living between two worlds: physical world and cyber world. The traditional interface between these two worlds is common rectangular screens which show the information. However, the aim of the authors’ research is to move beyond the current dominant model of GUI and they call this new type of HCI “Tangible User Interface”. They want to do that by having many interfaces in real word consisting ambient media and interactive surfaces instead of a single screen; it can be done by having trans-board, meta-desk, and ambient-room which are some of the prototypes. The first two prototypes are in the center of users’ attention and the last one is focused on the background information. These systems are demonstrated thoroughly in the paper; however, some of the ideas exist in today smart-homes, and being obsessive in this matter, in my opinion, can cause some distractions for the user and wasting the user’s time.