Rapidly Prototyping Marker Based Tangible User Interfaces

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Tangible user interfaces (TUIs) can create engaging and useful interactive systems. However, along with the power of these interfaces comes challenges; they are often so specialized and novel that building a TUI system involves working at a low level with custom hardware and software. As a result the community of people that are capable of creating TUIs is limited. With this project we aim to make a particular class of TUIs accessible to a broader range of designers and HCI researchers by exposing TUI specific tools in a mixed-reality rapid prototyping environment know as DART (The Designer’s Augmented Reality Toolkit). In this paper we discuss the creation of a system for rapidly prototyping marker based tangible user interfaces. These prototyping tools were then used to create a set of TUI-based applications with the goal of raising students’ interest in science via an exploration of fine art concepts.