Tangible Tools for Design


We are happy to see that the summer issue of the AIEDAM journal is now published (editors:  Ellen Yi-Luen Do and Mark D. Gross). It contains our article on the electronic-paper-based Post-Bits system, “Prototyping a tangible tool for design: Multimedia e-paper sticky notes.”

So, what are Post-Bits? We were looking for new ways to use e-paper, and at the same time, we were (and are) very interested in tangible tools for enhancing all kinds of work. This project started when Takashi Matsumoto interned here at FXPAL.  You can see Takashi talking about Post-Bits in the video below the fold:

More detail on Post-Bits,  from the paper abstract:

    Based on the observation that small paper memos with sticky backs (such as Post-Its) are a powerful and frequently used design tool, we have created Post-Bits, a new interface device with a physical embodiment that can be handled as naturally as paper sticky notes by designers, yet add digital information affordances as well.

    A Post-Bit is a design prototype of a small electronic paper device for handling multimedia content, with interaction control and display in one thin flexible sheet. Tangible properties of paper such as flipping, flexing, scattering, and rubbing are mapped to controlling aspects of the multimedia content such as scrubbing, sorting, or up- or downloading dynamic media (images, video, text).  In this paper we discuss both the design process involved in building a prototype of a tangible interface using new technologies, and how the use of Post-Bits as a tangible design tool can impact two common design tasks: design ideation or brainstorming, and storyboarding for interactive systems or devices.

The rest of the issue looks pretty interesting as well; I’m looking forward to getting our dead-tree copy in hand soon.