Addie Wagenknecht
Stefan Hechenberger


This is essentially an interactive surface for multi-finger dual-hand forms of interaction with the intend to redefine visual computing and depart from the typical mouse/mouse pointer paradigm.

Computational Form,Thesis

We are creating an exploration in the tangibility of pixels. For the connection between hands and digital data we propose a software- and hardware-based user interface. The interactive surface senses touch, multiple contact points, allowing for multi-finger dual-hand forms of interaction. The software visualizes and represents the data emulating physical characteristics that align with tactile expectations of the user.

Multitouch displays are essential the purest form of an interface. Very few external outputs are required. On one hand they are the definition of simplification and on the other hand they are the base for an extremely advance form of physical and logical interaction techniques.

Currently there is a large range of size, from an iphone to a large wall or room. Each differs in the sensitivity of required pressure or reaction. Perhaps the earliest example would be the keyboard. The history of multitouch essentially begins at the keyboard. We use key sequences and key combinations, essentially manifesting an early version of multi-touch. For example, many keyboards have three key rollovers which reliably detect any three keys used simultaneously, in other words, a user can hold down any two keys on the keyboard, press a third and have the command successfully understood by the software.

User Scenario
There is no text to read or instructions to follow. Anyone with working hands can use the application with little or no explanation much like in a literal environment, everything in finger painting is intuitive. The hardware can be experienced as a group or as a individual user. The system is ideally design to be portable and modular. It can be applied or used in a home or commercial environment, as one system or if connecting multiples in a larger format for large scale applications.

The users will best be able to experience the hardware in an environment with controlled lighting. We suggest it to be used anywhere outside of direct sunlight or bright spot lights. Just like any LCD screen, being used out of direct light allows for more vivid color and visible detail. The applications are most successful when used in a dimly light space away from windows.

Users can spend from ten seconds to ten hours using the applications and can refresh the applications multiple times, just as they would tangible paints and paper. The advantage of having an application plays out in many areas. Sustainability plays a role in the piece, the levels of toxicity in paint does not have to be a concern as it is in literal environments, and there is no paper, e.g. trees, being used in the process. The screen is acrylic glass and can be used multiple times before needing to be replaced, if ever.

During the last few years multitouch interfaces have gained significant interest. A multitude of private researchers, academics, and corporations have been working on projects exploring tactile surface interfaces. Unlike earlier prototypes, contemporary incarnations share more of their properties. Especially on the hardware side of the implementations we see a few distinct approaches to form defacto standards. In terms of the physical interaction they all eliminate the indirect mouse-pointer paradigm substituting it for a dual-hand, multi-finger interaction. What is actually done with the user input on the software side is gradually moving into the research focus. We see a wild playing field on the software side of things with some radical departures from traditional user interface elements.