Collaborative Physical User Interfaces

Greenberg, S. (2005)
Collaborative Physical User Interfaces. In Communication and Collaboration Support Systems. (K. Okada, T. Hoshi and T. Inoue, Ed.). Amsterdam, The Netherlands, IOS Press, pages 24-42, June. ISBN: 1-58603-514-2. Earlier version as Report 2004-740-05, March.

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Unlike the ‘traditional' computer that is based on a screen, mouse and keyboard, physical interfaces for collaborative interaction are special purpose devices that can be situated in a real-world setting and are designed for particular collaborative contexts and uses. However this is a new design genre; developers do not yet know what these devices should do and what they should look like. In this chapter, I hint at the variety of design categories for collaborative physical interfaces, as suggested and illustrated by a collection of working prototypes created by researchers and students at the University of Calgary.

We will also see that two toolkits encouraged people to explore creative ideas in this new genre. Through Phidgets, people rapidly prototype physical user interfaces under computer control. Through the Grouplab Collabrary, people had an easy means to share data between interconnected devices and software. These combined tools became a media form that allowed researchers and students to create and develop new ideas concerning physical interfaces for collaborative interaction, or to vary already established ideas in interesting ways.

Bibtex entry

@INBOOK { 2005-CollaborativePUIs.IOSBook,
AUTHOR = { Greenberg, S. },
TITLE = { Collaborative Physical User Interfaces },
BOOKTITLE = { Communication and Collaboration Support Systems },
PAGES = { 24-42 },
PUBLISHER = { IOS Press },
ADDRESS = { Amsterdam, The Netherlands },
YEAR = { 2005 },
MONTH = { June },
EDITOR = { K. Okada, T. Hoshi and T. Inoue },
NOTE = { ISBN: 1-58603-514-2. Earlier version as Report 2004-740-05, March },