A tangible user interface (TUI) is a user interface in which a person interacts with digital information through the physical environment. TUIs offer a natural means of interaction with computers and are already been shown to simplify existing computerized applications and offer solutions for tasks that were considered to be “out of the scope” of human computer interaction. People have natural tangible abilities that allow them to manipulate physical objects with very little cognitive effort. Current HCI (Human Computer Interfaces) use very little of our abilities and do not provide much opportunity to manipulate physical objects. The Window-Icon-Menu-Pointer (WIMP) interaction metaphor is the predominant standard for the current HCIs. This interface blocks our innate natural abilities. Creating HCI as 3D virtual worlds can dramatically change the way we perform CAD or construction oriented tasks and open the door for other applications that are not currently supported by computers. Manipulating objects in a 3D space such as a virtual world can provide interactions through a transparent interface that is inline with our physical qualities. TUIs are also a great tool for assisting children in learning, because of its ability to take advantage of their natural ability manipulate objects. Children have played with physical objects to learn a variety of skill, a tangible interface therefore would appear as a “natural” form to them.
Some Tangible User Interfaces Links:
3D Computer Interaction Using Physical Objects: Exploration of Tangible User Interfaces
Tangible User Interface for Children An Overview
A Tangible User Interface as Interaction and Presentation Device to a Social Learning Software