Graspable User Interfaces

George Fitzmaurice on Graspable User Interfaces in his thesis of the same name:

“A Graspable UI design provides users concurrent access to multiple, specialized input devices which can serve as dedicated physical interface widgets, affording physical manipulation and spatial arrangements. Hence input control can be “space-multiplexed.”
That is, different devices can be attached to different functions, each independently (but possibly simultaneously) accessible. This, then affords the capability to take advantage of the shape, size and position of the physical controller to increase functionality and decrease complexity. It also means that the potential persistence of attachment of a device to a function can be increased. By using physical objects, we not only allow users to employ a larger expressive range of gestures and grasping behaviors but also to leverage off of a user’s innate spatial reasoning skills and everyday knowledge of object manipulations. These physical artifacts are essentially “graspable functions” — input devices which can be tightly coupled or “attached” to virtual objects for manipulation, or for expressing actions. These artifacts need to have spatially-aware computational devices.”

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