SLAP Widgets

August 2, 2011
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Transparent tangible controls for multi-touch tables

SLAP Widgets are tangible controls such as knobs, sliders, buttons, and keyboards for interactive tables. They are made of transparent materials such as acrylic or silicone. Placed onto a multi-touch table, the table recognizes the SLAP Widgets via markers and displays the appropriate information beneath them, such as a graphical keyboard layout underneath the physicallly transparent SLAP Keyboard.

SLAP Widgets combine haptic feedback of physical objects with the flexibility of graphical user interfaces, such as dynamic changing labels. For example, when pressing the command key on the physical SLAP Keyboard, the table displays all invisible short-cut keys, such as copy and paste.

SLAP Widgets are general purpose tools and support manipulating graphical objects on the table. The visual appearance of the widgets depends on the graphical object they are connected with. These connections can be established and changed on the fly. A SLAP Knob connected to a movie, for example, visually changes to a navigation knob to step frames. Connected to an image, its visual appearance changes to a menu to manipulate image parameters.

With SLAP Widgets, people feel the form and structure of media interaction, which improves input accuracy. Simultaneously, the transparent physical controls reveal different manipulation possibilities.

Contact: RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.

For more information, see Transmaterial 3: A Catalog of Materials that Redefine our Physical Environment

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