Tangible User Interface
We introduce here a tangible user interface implemented by passing objects between a human and a computer.
This interface deals with realization and virtualization: when we realize an object, it disappears from the screen and we get a real object out of the screen, as it were. Virtualization is the opposite action: we pass real object into the user interface, it disappears, and we get a virtual object on the screen.
Our experiment included a grocery shop game with a coin machine as an input-output device. The virtual money that was earned in the game was realized as metal coins. The metal coins paid into the user interface were represented virtually on the computer screen.
The experiment included two ages groups: adults and children 6–8 years old. Reference groups played the same game without tangible components, i.e. all the money in the game was virtual (a common implementation in the game industry).
Adults bought less products in the version with tangible interface, and the decision period was longer in that case.
The children’s results were completely different: they bought many more products when playing the game with the tangible interface (about 3 times more). Children perceived the game with tangible interface as a totally different game: intuitively understandable and more engaging.
These results accord with cognitive theory, and we are look forward to further research studying the effectiveness of the use of tangible user interfaces.
KeywordsTangible Augmented reality Mixed reality Augmented virtuality Internet of things Teleportation User interface
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