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Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 347–358 | Cite as

A taxonomy for and analysis of tangible interfaces

  • Kenneth P. FishkinEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

There have been many research efforts devoted to tangible user interfaces (TUIs), but it has proven difficult to create a definition or taxonomy that allows us to compare and contrast disparate research efforts, integrate TUIs with conventional interfaces, or suggest design principles for future efforts. To address this problem, we present a taxonomy, which uses metaphor and embodiment as its two axes. This 2D space treats tangibility as a spectrum rather than a binary quantity. The further from the origin, the more “tangible” a system is. We show that this spectrum-based taxonomy offers multiple advantages. It unifies previous categorizations and definitions, integrates the notion of “calm computing,” reveals a previously un-noticed trend in the field, and suggests design principles appropriate for different areas of the spectrum.

Keywords

Metaphor Output Event Input Event Everyday Physical Object Tangible User Interface 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank Brygg Ullmer, Matt Gorbet, and Scott Klemmer for their many helpful comments and discussions.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Intel Research SeattleSeattleUSA

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