Orit Shaer- A Specification Paradigm for the Design and Implementation of Tangible User Interfaces

Tangible user interfaces have shown the potential to significantly enhance computer-mediated activities such as learning, problem solving, and design. However, tangible user interfaces are currently considered challenging to design and build. Designers and developers of these interfaces encounter several conceptual, methodological and technical diffculties. Among others, these challenges include: the lack of appropriate interaction abstractions, the shortcomings of current user interface software tools to address continuous and parallel interactions, as well as the excessive effort required to integrate novel input and output technologies. In this talk, we discuss the design space of tangible interaction in the broader context of the reality-based interaction framework. We then present a series of tangible user interfaces that we developed to encourage creativity and collaboration, and introduce a new specification paradigm for designing and implementing Tangible User Interfaces (TUIs) that alleviates TUI development challenges. We will also describe our current research that focuses on applying reality-based interaction techniques to scientific visualizations.