mediaBlocksBrygg Ullmer, Dylan Glas, and Professor Hiroshi Ishii / 1998


mediaBlocks is a tangible user interface based upon small, electronically tagged wooden blocks. The blocks serve as physical icons (“phicons”) for the containment, transport, and manipulation of online media. mediaBlocks interface with media input and output devices such as video cameras and projectors, allowing digital media to be rapidly “copied” from a media source and “pasted” into a media display. mediaBlocks are also compatible with traditional GUIs, providing seamless gateways between tangible and graphical interfaces. Finally, mediaBlocks act as physical “controls” in tangible interfaces for tasks such as sequencing collections of media elements.