Friday and Saturday we hosted the GI working groups on tangible interaction (GI Arbeitskreis Be-greifbare Interaction in gemischten Wirklichkeiten) for the second inventor's workshop. We were positively surprised that more than 30 people took part. We started with a set of nice demos from our students and then Nicolas Villar presented an invited talk.
The concept of the workshop was to create ideas by looking more closely at different materials that may be used for interaction and by assessing novel interaction technologies. On Friday afternoon we had several tables with material (e.g. smart materials, conductive fabric, magnetic materials, etc.) and technologies (e.g. VoodooIO, EduWear kit, Physiological sensing based on the Nexus system). We bought a set of materials from MUTR Teaching Materials. In groups the participants create many design ideas by imagining a certain technology to be used in a specific context.
The social event was at the unperfekthaus.de in Essen - if you visit Essen this is a "must see". The concept is unique!
On Saturday we started with an exercise to investigate the qualities of tangible UIs in comparison to traditional GUIs. For this we looked at different games (e.g. Space invaders, Super Mario, Sims, Halo) and though how we would make them more tangible and what pros and cons are there for the tangible and GUI version. In this context we also discussed the approach of exertion interfaces .
The rest of the morning was spent working on more concrete ideas for the concepts created on Friday afternoon - with remarkable results - see the Wiki for details.