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A Handle on What’s Going On: Combining Tangible Interfaces and Ambient Displays for Collaborative Groups

By Johanna Brewer, A Williams and Paul Dourish


While tangible interfaces open up new possibilities for input and interaction, they are also interesting because of the ways in which they occupy the physical world just as we do. We have been working at the intersection of three research areas – tangible interfaces, ambient displays, and collaboration awareness. Our system, Nimio, uses engaging physical objects as both input devices (capturing aspects of individual activity) and output devices (expressing aspects of group activity). We present our design and experiences, focusing in particular on the tension between legibility and ambiguity and its relevance in collaborative settings. Author Keywords: Ambient display, passive awareness, group awareness, tangible interfaces, embodied interaction

Topics: H5.2 [Information interfaces
Year: 2009
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