Embodied Interaction

Project Overview

Are tangible and whole body interfaces more natural and intuitive? Such claims rely on several premises. One premise is that leveraging metaphorical mappings between an image (embodied) schematic action and metaphorically related system response should improve performance and learning with such interfaces. The second premise suggests that learning a new system interface may be simplified by offloading memory from the purely cognitive realm to the realm of interactions between the body and environment. The body may remember where the mind does not. These three projects explore these and other premises of embodied interaction in tangible and interactive environments.

Design Guidance

Springboard Studies: Connecting Body Balance with Meanings of Balance

This project involves a set of studies in which we explore the usability and user experience benefits of using image schema-based conceptual metaphors of BALANCE to structure the relation between input actions and digital representations of abstract concepts in whole body environments. Springboard’s interaction layer was designed to connect spatial-balance and body-balance with meanings of balance in social justice and math. As the user moves their body in and out of balance, they affect the display of digital images and sounds that represent different concepts of balance.

MoSo Tangibles Study

MoSo Tangibles are a set of nine tangible sound making objects faciliate the exploration of the benefits of various embodied schemata that structure understandings of musical sound parameters (e.g., volume, tempo, pitch).

Sound Maker Studies

Sound Maker is an interactive environment that faciliates the exploration of the benefits of various embodied schemata that structure understandings of musical sound parameters (e.g., volume, tempo, pitch).

December 2007: These videos show short segments of pairs of adult participants exploring and/or succeeding at various sound making pattern tasks using the third prototype of The SoundsMaker (aka Beatniks) System.

  • Speed-Tempo1. Descriptor: Exploring Speed-Tempo relationship in the inuitive system. [.M4V video 2.2MB]
  • Speed-Tempo2. Descriptor: Demonstrating Speed-Tempo relationship in the inuitive system. [.M4V video 1.7MB]
  • Proximity-Pitch. Descriptor: Exploring Proximity-Pitch (Discoverable) in the inuitive system. [.M4V video 664KB]
  • Flow-Rhythm. Descriptor: Exploring Flow (Synchronous & smooth verus Asynchronous & choppy)-Rhythm in the inuitive system. [High resolution Quicktime 200MB]
  • Spatial Mental Models. Descriptor: Particpants verbally and gesturally make spatial references in nonintuitive system. [.M4V video 2.1MB]