Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 10, Issue 2–3, pp 153–158 | Cite as

A cube to learn: a tangible user interface for the design of a learning appliance

  • Lucia TerrenghiEmail author
  • Matthias Kranz
  • Paul Holleis
  • Albrecht Schmidt
Original Article


In this paper we introduce the design and development of the Learning Cube as a novel tangible learning appliance. Using the common shape of a cube we implemented a general learning platform that supports test based quizzes where questions and answers can be text or image based. Exploiting the physical affordances of the cube and augmenting it with embedded sensors and LCD displays placed on each face, we present different learning appliances as playful learning interfaces for children. Based on the initial observations of the experience with children, we argue that breaking conventions about how a computer has to look like, and providing children with a playful interface is a promising approach to embed and integrate technology into children’s everyday context and activities.


Tangible user interface Learning appliance Learning platform Ubiquitous computing Playing 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lucia Terrenghi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Matthias Kranz
    • 2
  • Paul Holleis
    • 2
  • Albrecht Schmidt
    • 2
  1. 1.Research Group FluidumUniversity of MunichMunichGermany
  2. 2.Research Group Embedded InteractionUniversity of MunichMunichGermany

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