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 Terrenghi
  • Matthias Kranz
  • Paul Holleis
  • Albrecht Schmidt
Original Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Tangible user interface Learning appliance Learning platform Ubiquitous computing Playing 

References

  1. 1.
    Block F, Schmidt A, Villar N, Gellersen HW (2004) Towards a playful user interface for home entertainment systems. In: European symposium on ambient intelligence (EUSAI 2004), Springer LNCS 3295. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 207–217Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Camarata K, Yi-Luen Do E, Johnson B, Gross MD (2002) Navigational blocks: navigating information space with tangible media. In: International conference on intelligent user interfaces. ACM Press, San Francisco, pp 13–16Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Druin A, Inkpen K (2001) When are personal technologies for children? Introduction to special issue personal technologies for children. Pers Technol 5:191–194Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gutiérrez A (1996) Children’s ability for using different plane representations of space figures. In: Batturo AR (ed) New directions in geometry education (Centre for Math. and Sc. Education, Q.U.T.: Brisbane, Australia), pp 33–42Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    O’Malley C, Stanton Fraser D. Literature review in learning with tangible technologies. http://www.nestafuturelab.org/research/lit_reviews.htm
  6. 6.
    Piaget J (1953) How children form mathematical concepts. Sci Am 189(5):74–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Research Group Embedded Interaction, Particle Display Website http://www.hcilab.org/projects/particles/particles-display-add-on.htm
  8. 8.
    Riesner J, Garing AE, Garing MF (1994) Young imagery, action and young children’s spatial orientation—it’s not being there that counts, it’s what one has in mind. Child Dev 65(5):1262–1278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sheridan J, Short Ben W, Van Laerhoven K, Villar N, Kortuem G (2003) Exploring cube affordances: towards a classification of non-verbal dynamics of physical interfaces for wearable computing. EurowearablesGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Smets GJF, Stappers PJ, Overbeeke KJ, Van der Mast CAPG (1994) Designing in virtual reality: implementing perceptual-action coupling and affordances. In: Proceedings of the virtual reality software and technology conference. World Scientific Publishing, Singapore, pp 97–110Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    TecO Particle Web Site, http://particle.teco.edu/
  12. 12.
    Zhou ZY, Horng PJ, Cheok AD, Li Y (2004) 3D story cube: an interactive tangible user interface for storytelling with 3D graphics and audio. Pers Ubiquitous Comput 8(5):374–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2005

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations