Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 338–346 | Cite as

On tangible user interfaces, humans and spatiality

  • Ehud Sharlin
  • Benjamin Watson
  • Yoshifumi Kitamura
  • Fumio Kishino
  • Yuichi Itoh
Original Article

Abstract

Like the prehistoric twig and stone, tangible user interfaces (TUIs) are objects manipulated by humans. Tangible user interface success will depend on how well they exploit spatiality, the intuitive spatial skills humans have with the objects they use. In this paper, we carefully examine the relationship between humans and physical objects, and related previous research. From this examination, we distill a set of observations and turn these into heuristics for incorporation of spatiality into TUI application design, a cornerstone for their success. Following this line of thought, we identify “spatial TUIs,” the subset of TUIs that mediate interaction with shape, space and structure. We then examine several existing spatial TUIs using our heuristics.

Keywords

Tangible user interfaces Design heuristics Spatial mappings Affordances 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ehud Sharlin
    • 1
  • Benjamin Watson
    • 2
  • Yoshifumi Kitamura
    • 1
  • Fumio Kishino
    • 1
  • Yuichi Itoh
    • 1
  1. 1.Human Interface Engineering LaboratoryOsaka UniversityJapan
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceNorthwestern UniversityUSA

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