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Tangible Acoustic Interfaces for Computer-Human Interaction

Objective

A common problem with existing input tangible interfaces (keypads, mice and touch screens) is their inflexibility in restricting the mobility of users, constraining them to be in certain locations during interaction with the computer. Lack of robustness is another disadvantage, limiting the areas of application. This project explores how physical objects, augmented surfaces and space can be transformed into tangible-acoustic embodiments of natural seamless unrestricted interfaces. The ultimate goal is to design tangible interfaces that employ physical objects and space as media to bridge the gap between the virtual and physical worlds and to make information accessible through touchable objects as well as ambient media.

The method to be developed is based on the principle that interacting with a physical object modifies its acoustic pattern. By visualising and characterising such acoustic patterns, it will be possible to transform almost any object into an interactive interface, opening up new modes of computer-user interaction for responsive environments. Because of their numerous advantages over other methods, including the spatial freedom they provide to the user, the robustness with which they can be constructed and the ease of accommodating multiple users simultaneously, acoustic-based interfaces will become a major sensing paradigm in the future, implying enormous potential for the whole computer and information industry. New applications will include wall-size touch panels, three-dimensional interfaces, immersive VR sensors, and robust interactive screens for harsh industrial environments.

The Tai-Chi project will target the following specific technology areas: research into acoustic transmission behaviours in various media, development of novel acoustic sensors for various application scenarios, development of acoustic signal processing algorithms and establishment of intelligent tangible interfaces.

Funding Scheme

STREP - Specific Targeted Research Project

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF WALES, CARDIFF
Address
Newport Road
CF24 0YF Cardiff
United Kingdom

Participants (6)

AIT ASSOCIATION VAUDOISE POUR LA PROMOTION DES INNOVATIONS ET DES TECHNOLOGIES
Switzerland
Address
Rue De Galilee 15
CH-1400 Yverdon
INSTITUT POUR LE DEVELOPPEMENT DE LA SCIENCE, L'EDUCATION ET LA TECHNOLOGIE
France
POLITECNICO DI MILANO
Italy
TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAET CLAUSTHAL
Germany
Address
Robert-koch-str. 32
D-38678
THE UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM
United Kingdom
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI GENOVA
Italy
Address
Viale Causa 13
16145 Genova