Séminaire de Master : Tangible User Interfaces

Over the last couple of years, it has been demonstrated that Graspable, or Tangible User Interfaces (TUIs), a genre of human-computer interaction that uses physical objects as representations and controls for digital information, make up a promising alternative for the ?traditional? omnipresent graphical user interface (GUI). TUIs have shown a high potential for supporting social interaction and collaboration. The majority of existing systems have targeted learning or playful learning, office environments, or collaborative planning tasks. While quite a few systems have demonstrated the technical feasibility of associating digital media with tangible objects, these have often remained stand-alone proof of concept prototypes or applications of limited functionality. More sophisticated combinations of multimedia and tangible interaction are only now emerging. The University of Fribourg will try to contribute to this domain through its simultaneous pursuit of a User-Centered Design approach and high-profile technical development integrating multiple and previously unexplored input modalities.

Les dernières années ont démontré que les interfaces utilisateur tangibles (TUIs), un type d'interaction Homme/Machine qui emploie les objets physiques pour représenter et commander de l'information numérique, sont une alternative prometteuse aux interfaces graphiques traditionnelles (GUI). Les interfaces tangibles ont montré en particulier un potentiel élevé pour soutenir l'interaction et la collaboration. Bien que quelques systèmes aient démontré la possibilité d'associer des médias numériques aux objets réels, les projets sont souvent restés à l?état de prototype, avec des fonctionnalités limitées, et leur utilité reste à prouver. Des combinaisons plus sophistiquées alliant la multimodalité à l'interaction tangible émergent seulement maintenant. Dans les années à venir, l'université de Fribourg cherchera à étendre le domaine par la poursuite simultanée d'une approche centrée utilisateur, le développement de techniques de pointe et la combinaison avec d?autres modalités telles que le geste ou la voix. L'objectif de ce séminaire est de faire un état de l'art sur les projets actuels d'interfaces tangibles et de présenter une technologie prometteuse : les RFIDs.

Ainsi, il sera demandé à chaque étudiant de choisir un thème parmis ceux proposés, de lire les articles correspondants, de les synthétiser et finalement de les présenter en fin de séminaire. De plus, un rapport de 4-6 pages devra synthétiser les lectures et présenter les travaux de recherche du thème choisi.

Les étudiants intéressés doivent s'annoncer au plus vite auprès de Denis Lalanne ou de Rolf Ingold puisque le nombre d'étudiants sera limité à 6-8 personnes (i.e. les premiers inscrits).


6 Master students studying:

  • Media and Tangibles;
  • Tangible visualizations;
  • Classification of Tangibles User Interfaces;
  • Souvenirs, Memories and Tangibles ;
  • Collaboration through interactive walls and tangibles;
  • Story Telling and programming with tangibles.

3 Bachelor students presenting their projects:

  • A card game using RFID technology;
  • Tangible multimedia browsing;
  • Phong: a tangible pong.


  • Friday 11th December 2pm:

    • Seminar introduction [PPT].
  • Friday 2nd December 8.30am – 1pm:

  • Friday 9th December 2 pm:

    • Introduction to Tangible User Interfaces (Denis Lalanne)
    • RFID Technology (Bruno Dumas) [PPT].
  • Friday December 23th 2 pm:

    • Phidgets and the programming framework (Florian Evequoz) [PPT].
    • « How to make a good scientific presentation » (Rolf Ingold)
  • Friday January 20th 2 pm:

    • Master intermediary presentations:
      • David Bächler: MeMoML [PPT].
      • Bachelor intermediary presentations:
        • Mathias Mueller: A card game using RFID technology [PPT];
        • Herve Chiquet: Tangible multimedia browsing [PPT];
        • Mehdi Radgohar: Phong, the Tangible pong [PPT].
  • Friday january 27th 2 pm:

    • The digital desk – (Pierre Wellner, IDIAP) [link on video and presentation];
    • Interactive Tables (Noise sensitive table, Docking table), CAIF workshop results (Mauro Cherubini) - EPFL
  • Friday February 3rd 2pm:

    • Master students seminar presentations:
    • Philipp Locher: Classification of Tangibles User Interfaces [report] [slides];
    • Reto Koenig: Souvenirs, Memories and Tangibles [report] [slides]
  • Friday 24th March 10am:

    • Master students seminar presentations:
      • Baris Ulucinar, Tangible visualizations [report] [slides]
      • Dominique Guinard, Tangible & Media [report] [slides PDF] [slides ppt]
      • Pedro De Almeida, Collaboration through interactive walls and tangibles [report] [slides];
      • Cedric Chevillat, Story Telling and programming with tangibles [report] [slides].

Preliminary References

  • Tangibles, souvenirs and memories:

    • Hoven, E. van den and Eggen, B. (2003). Digital Photo Browsing with Souvenirs, Proceedings of the Interact2003, 1000-1004. The accompanying video is available on CD together with the book-format proceedings and can be retrieved from: http://homelab.htc.nl.philips.com/movies/index.html (Philips In-ternal only). [PDF]
    • Ljungstrand, P., Redström, J. and Holmquist, L. E. (2000). WebStickers: Using Physical Tokens to Access, Manage and Share Bookmarks to the Web, Proceedings of Designing Augmented Reality Environments, DARE’00. [PDF]
    • N. Villar, K. Van Laerhoven, H.-W. Gellersen. "A Physical Notice Board with Digital Logic and Display" In Adjunct Proceedings of the European Symposium on Ambient Intelligence 2004; ACM ISBN: 1-58113-992-6. pp. 207-217. [PDF]
    • Hoven, E. van den (2004). Graspable Cues for Everyday Recollecting, PhD Thesis, Depart-ment of Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands, ISBN 90-386-1958-8.
  • Tangibles and medias:

    • Jun Rekimoto, Brygg Ullmer, and Haro Oba, DataTiles: A Modular Platform for Mixed Physical and Graphical Interactions, CHI2001, 2001. [PDF]
    • Ullmer, B., Ishii, H. and Glas, D. (1998). MediaBlocks: Physical Containers, Transports, and Controls for Online Media, Proceedings of SIGGRAPH’98, 379-386. [PDF]
    • Cohen J, Withgott M, Piernot P (1999) Logjam: a tangible multi-person interface for video logging. In: Proceedings of the CHI’99 conference on human factors in computing systems, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 1999, pp 128–135 [PDF].
  • Tangibles, story telling and programming:

    • Glos, J. and Cassell, J. (1997a). Rosebud: Technological Toys for Storytelling, Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’97), New York, USA: ACM Press, 359-360. [PDF]
    • Glos, J. W., and Cassell, J. (1997b). Rosebud: A Place for Interaction Between Memory, Story, and Self, Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Cognitive Technology (CT’97), 88. [PDF]
    • F. Decortis, A. Rizzo, L. Daele, L. Polazzi, B. Saudelli. Nouveaux instruments actifs et activités narratives: Pogo: vers un espace de création située. RIHM Revue d'Interaction Homme Machine. Volume 2 - N° 2. 2002. [PDF]
    • Timothy Scott McNerney, "Tangible Programming Bricks: An approach to making programming accessible to everyone", MASTER OF SCIENCE IN MEDIA ARTS AND SCIENCES at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, February, 2000 [PDF] [HTML].
    • M. Gorbet, M. Orth, and H. Ishii, “Triangles: Tangible Interface for Manipulation and Exploration of Digital Information Topography,” Proceedings of CHI’98 (1998), pp. 49–56 [PDF].
  • Tangible visualizations:

    • Beckman, C. and Dey, A. K. (2003). SiteView: Tangibly Programming Active Environments with Predictive Visualization, Adjunct Proceedings of UbiComp 2003, 167-168. [PDF]
    • Streitz, N., Geissler, J., Holmer, T., Konomi, S., Müller-Tomfelde, C., Reischl, W., Rexroth, P., Seitz, P. and Steinmetz, R. (1999). i-LAND: An interactive Landscape for Creativity and Innovation, Proceedings of the ACM Conference of Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’99), 120-127.[PDF]
    • Brygg Ullmer, Hiroshi Ishii & Robert Jacob, "Tangible Query Interfaces: Physically Constrained Tokens for Manipulating Database Queries.", INTERACT 2003 [PDF].
  • Classifications of Tangible User Interfaces:

    • Hoven, E. van den, and Eggen, B. (2004). Tangible Computing in Everyday Life: Extending Current Frameworks for Tangible User Interfaces with Personal Objects, Markopoulos et al. (Eds), proceedings of EUSAI 2004, LNCS 3295, Nov 8-10, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, pp. 230-242. [PDF]
    • Ullmer, B. & Ishii, H.(2000). Emerging frameworks for tangible user interfaces, IBM Systems Journal, 39(3-4), 915-931. [PDF]
    • Ullmer, B. and Ishii, H. (2001). Emerging Frameworks for Tangible User Interfaces. In J. M. Carroll (Ed.), Human Computer Interaction in the New Millenium, Addison-Wesley, 579-601. [PDF] [PDF2]
    • Fitzmaurice, G. W., Ishii, H. and Buxton, W. (1995). Bricks: Laying the foundations for Graspable User Interfaces, Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’95), New York, pp. 442-449. [PDF]