Hot Moves: Shape-changing and Thermal Interfaces


May 7, 2012 @ 16:30, Room: Ballroom E

Chair: Lars Erik Holmquist, Yahoo!
"Baby It's Cold Outside": The Influence of Ambient Temperature and Humidity on Thermal Feedback - Paper
Contribution & Benefit: We investigate the impact of ambient temperature and humidity on the use of thermal interfaces. The outcome of our evaluations are a set of design recommendations.
Abstract » Thermal feedback is a new area of research in HCI and, as such, there has been very little investigation of the impact of environmental factors on its use for interaction. To address this shortcoming we conducted an experiment to investigate how ambient temperature and humidity could affect the usability of thermal feedback. If environmental conditions affect perception significantly, then it may not be suitable for mobile interactions. Evaluations were conducted outdoors in varying environmental conditions over a period of 5 months. Results showed that the ambient temperature has a significant impact on people's ability to detect stimuli and also their perception of these stimuli. Humidity has a negligible effect for most humidity values. Despite this, previous thermal feedback design recommendations still hold in varying temperatures and humidities showing that thermal feedback is a useful tool for mobile interaction.
PINOKY: A Ring That Animates Your Plush Toys - Paper
Community: design
Contribution & Benefit: PINOKY is a wireless ring-like device that can be externally attached to any plush toy as an accessory that animates the toy by moving its limbs.
Abstract » PINOKY is a wireless ring-like device that can be externally attached to any plush toy as an accessory that animates the toy by moving its limbs. A user is thus able to instantly convert any plush toy into a soft robot. The user can control the toy remotely or input the movement desired by moving the plush toy and having the data recorded and played back. Unlike other methods for animating plush toys, PINOKY is non-intrusive, so alterations to the toy are not required. In a user study, 1) the roles of plush toys in the participants' daily lives were examined, 2) how participants played with plush toys without PINOKY was observed, 3) how they played with plush toys with PINOKY was observed, and their reactions to the device were surveyed. On the basis of the results, potential applications were conceptualized to illustrate the utility of PINOKY.
Shape-Changing Interfaces: A Review of the Design Space and Open Research Questions - Paper
Community: design
Contribution & Benefit: Reviews work on physical interfaces that use shape change as input or output, so-called shape-changing interfaces. Provide an overview of the design space of such interfaces and identify open research questions.
Abstract » Shape change is increasingly used in physical user interfaces, both as input and output. Yet, the progress made and the key research questions for shape-changing interfaces are rarely analyzed systematically. We review a sample of existing work on shape-changing interfaces to address these shortcomings. We identify eight types of shape that are transformed in various ways to serve both functional and hedonic design purposes. Interaction with shape-changing interfaces is simple and rarely merges input and output. Three questions are discussed based on the review: (a) which design purposes may shape-changing interfaces be used for, (b) which parts of the design space are not well understood, and (c) why studying user experience with shape-changing interfaces is important.
MimicTile: A Variable Stiffness Deformable User Interface for Mobile Devices - Note
Community: designCommunity: engineering
Contribution & Benefit: Describes a user interface that can recognize deformation-based gestures and provide haptic feedback. Presents engineers and researchers with the methods to control SMAs and to recognize gestures.
Abstract » MimicTile is a novel variable stiffness deformable user interface for mobile devices that implements two key features. The first feature is an input interface that accepts a variety of deformation-based gestures, providing a user with several ways of interacting with a small mobile device. The other feature is the ability to provide information to the user through haptic feedback by varying the stiffness of the interface. The features are suitable for enhancing mobile applications. They were implemented using only shape memory alloy (SMA) wires as the actuator. SMA wire is extremely flexible, making it ideal for deformable user interfaces. In MimicTile, SMA wires act as both actuators and external input sensors. The actuator function works by altering stiffness based on user input. This study also discusses ideas for further development of deformable user interfaces.
Animating Paper Using Shape Memory Alloys - Note
Community: design
Contribution & Benefit: Presents mechanisms and design guidelines for using shape memory alloys to actuate paper. We believe that blending paper with electronics is promising for engaging diverse audiences in building electronics.
Abstract » Our aim is to make shape memory alloys (SMAs) accessi- ble and visible as creative crafting materials by combining them with paper. In this paper, we begin by presenting mech- anisms for actuating paper with SMAs along with a set of design guidelines for achieving dramatic movement. We then describe how we tested the usability and educational potential of one of these mechanisms in a workshop where participants, age 9 to 15, made actuated electronic origami cranes. We found that participants were able to successfully build con- structions integrating SMAs and paper, that they enjoyed do- ing so, and were able to learn skills like circuitry design and soldering over the course of the workshop.