My proposed project was originally a screen-based one meant for a museum exhibit. My lecturer criticized it as being too “boring” and asked me to think of a user interface. This meant that it was back to the drawing board for me, as I had to rethink the whole project concept based on the idea of a user interface, and not a screen with a keyboard and mouse. Actually it does make sense. Who would want to visit a museum to see a screen-based exhibit when one is already using the computer all the time? Museum visitors want to see unique objects in the museum.
So while doing research about user interfaces, I discovered the term “tangible user interfaces” and wondered why I had not known about this earlier. It is such a wonderful concept. Wikipedia defines it as: “… a user interface in which a person interacts with digital information through the physical environment.”
- Physical representations are computationally coupled to underlying digital information.
- Physical representations embody mechanisms for interactive control.
- Physical representations are perceptually coupled to actively mediated digital representations.
- Physical state of tangibles embodies key aspects of the digital state of a system
Here are some good examples of what a TUI is:-