Prof. for Interface Cultures in LinzJanuary 22

During this semester I will hold an interim position as Professor for Interface Cultures at the University of Arts in Linz, appointed to act for Prof. Sommerer & Prof. Mignonneau during their sabbatical leave. The Interface Cultures department looks back to an exciting history of five years leading to the establishment of one of the most innovative master programs for digital arts in Austria. Apart from managing the continuity of the master program and student activities I am planning to give an impulse towards the research in human computer interaction and the development of open tools for creative production during my stay. Our new team is completed by senior researcher Dr. Georg Russegger, who will be responsible for the research towards a new European master program in Ludic Interfaces.

ceci n’est pas un code QRJanuary 13

ceci n'est pas un code QR

TUIO logoJanuary 7

TUIO logo

The TUIO acronym translates to “tangible user interface objects”. This logo therefore intends to symbolize the primary application field of the protocol in the context of tangible interactive surfaces. The three central letters TUI standing for “tangible user interfaces” are surrounded by the large letter O, which represents the protocol in general as a unifying fabric. Finally the letters T and I have been designed to mimic the structure of a table in order to emphasize the role of the TUIO protocol for the realization of interactive tabletop applications.

You can download the TUIO logo on its page at TUIO.org.

TUIO 2.0 specification nearing completionJanuary 4

It took longer than expected to develop the next generation TUIO 2.0 specification, since this new protocol generation is intended to cover a much wider scope of tangible user interfaces and interactive surface environments. The present TUIO 1.1 specification has been mainly used for multi-touch surfaces, but it also included the basic component descriptors for tagged and untagged physical objects.
In addition to improved multi-touch features, TUIO2 now has an even stronger focus on tangible (=physical) interfaces. Therefore it is not only enhancing the existing components with some previously missing attributes (e.g. pressure), but also defines new descriptors for additional interface component types. Apart from extending the existing descriptors for Tokens (tagged objects), Pointers (touch and pointing devices) and Bounds (untagged object geometry), TUIO2 introduces an additional Symbol component for the encoding of arbitrary symbols, such as RFID tags or data matrix codes. Additional Geometry messages now allow the more detailed description of the full shape of untagged physical objects, while several complementary Content messages allow the transmission of additional control dimensions, data content and signals for any interface component. TUIO2 also introduces the new category of Association messages, which allow to define various Container and Connection relationships between individual interface components. The new protocol finally also includes detailed Timing information, which is essential for the realization of gesture-based interfaces.
Due to its shared OSC name space /tuio2 and its more compact message syntax, the new protocol is hopefully more open for future extensions with additional component messages. This structure also allows the incremental description of individual interface components by a series of messages. A finger touch for example can now be encoded by combining a pointer and bounds message, while several properties of a tagged physical object can be referenced through a series of token, symbol and geometry messages.
Although the documentation still might need some improvements and eventually some minor error correction, I hope that the current specification actually meets its primary goals and can be soon declared final. If there are any objections or last minute proposals for improvement, please get in touch as soon as possible. In any case it will still take some more time before we are going to see actual implementations of TUIO 2.0, since most applications and client libraries are still in the process of implementing TUIO 1.1.