ACM CHI '97 - Ishii and Ullmer presented the 1st TMG's Vision Paper: "Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms." This paper became one of the most cited paper in HCI community in the past two decades.

Event Link

Venue: Atlanta, GA

March 26, 1997

Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms

Hiroshi Ishii and Brygg Ullmer
MIT Media Laboratory
Tangible Media Group
20 Ames Street, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307 USA
{ishii, ullmer}@media.mit.edu

ABSTRACT

This paper presents our vision of Human Computer Interaction (HCI): “Tangible Bits.” Tangible Bits allows users to “grasp & manipulate” bits in the center of users’ attention by coupling the bits with everyday physical objects and architectural surfaces. Tangible Bits also enables users to be aware of background bits at the periphery of human perception using ambient display media such as light, sound, airflow, and water movement in an augmented space. The goal of Tangible Bits is to bridge the gaps between both cyberspace and the physical environment, as well as the foreground and background of human activities.

This paper describes three key concepts of Tangible Bits: interactive surfaces; the coupling of bits with graspable physical objects; and ambient media for background awareness. We illustrate these concepts with three prototype systems - the metaDESK, transBOARD and ambientROOM - to identify underlying research issues.