Bricks: Laying the Foundations for Graspable User Interfaces


We introduce the concept of Graspable User Interfaces that allow direct control of electronic or virtual objects through physical handles for control. These physical artifacts, which we call u0022bricks,u0022 are essentially new input devices that can be tightly coupled or “attached” to virtual objects for manipulation or for expressing action (e.g., to set parameters or for initiating processes). Our bricks operate on top of a large horizontal display surface known as the u0022ActiveDesk.u0022 We present four stages in the development of Graspable UIs: (1) a series of exploratory studies on hand gestures and grasping; (2) interaction simulations using mock-ups and rapid prototyping tools; (3) a working prototype and sample application called GraspDraw; and (4) the initial integrating of the Graspable UI concepts into a commercial application. Finally, we conclude by presenting a design space for Bricks which lay the foundation for further exploring and developing Graspable User Interfaces.

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