Tangible Bits: Beyond Pixels

Hiroshi Ishii

This Friday, April 27, 2007, the Informatics Seminar will not be held,
but instead there will be a reception in ICS2 136 at 4:00pm after the
ISR Distinguished Speaker Hiroshi Ishii at 2:00pm-3:30pm in McDonnell
Douglas Engineering Auditorium.

More details here

Abstract: Where the sea meets the land, life has blossomed into a myriad of unique forms in the turbulence of water, sand, and wind. At another seashore between the land of atoms and the sea of bits, we are now facing the challenge of reconciling our dual citizenships in the physical and digital worlds. Windows to the digital world are confined to flat square ubiquitous screens filled with pixels, or “painted bits.” Unfortunately, one can not feel and confirm the virtual existence of this digital information through one’s body.

Tangible Bits, our vision of Human Computer Interaction (HCI), seeks to realize seamless interfaces between humans, digital information, and the physical environment by giving physical form to digital information, making bits directly manipulable and perceptible. Guided by this vision, we are designing “tangible user interfaces” which employ physical objects, surfaces, and spaces as tangible embodiments of digital information. These involve foreground interactions with graspable objects and augmented surfaces, exploiting the human senses of touch and kinesthesia. We are also exploring background information displays which use “ambient media.” Here, we seek to communicate digitally-mediated senses of activity and presence at the periphery of human awareness. Our goal is to realize seamless interfaces taking advantage of the richness of multimodal human senses and skills developed through our lifetime of interaction with the physical world.

In this talk, I will present the design principles and a variety of tangible user interfaces the Tangible Media Group has presented in Media Arts, Design, and Science communities including ICC, Ars Electronica, Centre Pompidou, Venice Biennale, ArtFutula, IDSA, ICSID, AIGA, ACM CHI, SIGGRAPH, UIST, CSCW.

http://tangible.media.mit.edu

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