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Tangible Interfaces

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Revision as of 05:14, 12 September 2012 by Kmiesenb (Talk | contribs)

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Tangible user interfaces integrate everyday physical but also virutal objects into the interaction with web based systems and services going beyond the traditional Human Computer Interaction (HCI) concepts and tools. This asks for addressing accessibility issues in the early stage of this new domain of [Interaction Design] but also invites to study how Tangible Interfaces could help to improve usability of interaction and in particular how to better address the needs of those user groups facign barrieres with the traditional HCI.

.  This talk discusses strategies in interface design in the research area of tangible, embodied and reality-based interaction and links them to current developments in DIY (do it yourself) communities, whose open source hardware and software toolkits play a decisive role for the prototyping of novel interaction techniques.


Page author(s): Klaus Miesenberger


[Tangible Interfaces, Accessibility, Interaction Design]

Background and Description

In the age of ubiquitous computing and the [Internet of Things] the physical and the digital get increasingly intertwined. Users interact with the web through the physical and also augmented environment. Objects get integrated into web based systems and services and objects provide interfaces to the Web. This transfers the fundamental question of accessibility into the [Internet of Things] but also challenges [Interaction Design] of technical artefacts with a new and growing attention to the human body, the skills and requirements of a diverse set of users including those with disabilities.


How to expolit best the potential of physical and virtual objects and the materials of the interface elements for Tangible Interfaces for people with disabilities? New challenging questions arrise how tangible interfaces could help to overvomce barrieres for people with disabilities with the traditional HCI interfaces. How does this impact on accessibility and as well what potential for assistive functionalities and increased accessibility for people with disabilities?

For people with disabilities two questions are of major interest regarding Tangibel Interfaces:

  1. The accessibility and usability of systems and services employing Tangible Interfaces for people with disabilities.
  2. The potential of the Tangible Interfaces as an enabler of assistive functionalities and/or increased accessibility support and services for people with disabilities in domains such as
  • Independent living, Ambient and Assisted Living (AAL) and Environmental Control
  • Cognitive support, ease of use and enhances learnability
  • Enhanced support for information provision in public spaces including shopping, cultural places, public transport
  • Service provision and (health) care
  • Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Education and learning
  • Job integration

Further on this topic should address question like

  • do existing guidelines and recommendations cover and sufficiently include Tangible Interfaces
  • do existing and proposed examples and installations of Tangible Interfaces in the domain of Interaction Design support accessibility or how could they do
  • Hardeare accessibility of Tangible objects
  • Monitoring interaction design for accessibility
  • Studying the potential and impact of Tangible Interfaces for differents user groups and applicaton scenarios


[References to related works and activities]

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