Designing Tangible Interfaces for Richer Media Experience
Scott Klemmer (Stanford University)
My research group is motivated by the belief that the rich vocabulary of interaction we have with physical objects and devices (scissors, screwdrivers, dribbling a basketball, ...) is completely missing in our interaction with computers, where nearly all communication occurs by moving around a potato (a mouse) or by poking at a set of arranged buttons (a keyboard).
We have addressed this gap between our real-world and electronic-world interactions by leveraging the benefits of both worlds. I will discuss three projects in this vein, from the handheld to the wall scale. The Designers' Outpost is a tangible user interface combining the affordances of paper and large physical workspaces with the advantages of electronic media to support information design. Books with Voices, based on a study of oral historians, provides barcode augmented paper transcripts for fast, random access to digital video interviews on a PDA. Our most recent work is with field biologists, integrating multiple documentary modalities (handwritten notes, digital photographs, and networked sensors).
Currently, developing these tangible interfaces is difficult, time-consuming, and requires a high level of technical expertise, especially with computer vision. I will also discuss our work on Papier-Mâché, a toolkit for building tangible interfaces using computer vision, electronic tags, and barcodes. Papier- Mâché introduces high-level abstractions for working with these technologies that facilitate technology portability. For example, an application can be prototyped with computer vision and deployed with RFID. The design of Papier- Mâché has been deeply influenced by his experiences building physical interfaces over the past several years.
Scott Klemmer is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. He received a dual BA in Art-Semiotics and Computer Science from Brown University in 1999, and an MS and PhD in Computer Science from UC Berkeley in 2001 and 2004 respectively. His research addresses tangible user interfaces and user interface software tools. Several of his research systems have had commercial impact: the SUEDE speech design tool has been used and extended by dozens of companies; The Designers' Outpost system for vision-based capture of walls inspired product features at SMART Technologies; and the handheld Books with Voices system helped fuel advanced development at Ricoh Innovations.