Metamaterial Mechanisms

So far, metamaterials were understood as materials—we want to think of them as machines.

Recently, researchers started to engineer not only the outer shape of objects, but also their internal microstructure. Such objects, typically based on 3D cell grids, are also known as metamaterials. Metamaterials have been used,for example, to create materials with soft and hard regions.

So far, metamaterials were understood as materials—we want to think of them as machines. We demonstrate metamaterial objects that perform a mechanical function. Such metamaterial mechanisms consist of a single block of material the cells of which play together in a well-defined way in order to achieve macroscopic movement. Our metamaterial door latch, for example, transforms the rotary movement of its handle into a linear motion of the latch.

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Skin drag displays

dragging a physical tactor across the user’s skin produces a stronger tactile stimulus than vibrotactile

We propose a new type of tactile displays that drag a physical tactor across the skin in 2D. We call this skin drag. We demonstrate how this allows us to communicate geometric shapes or characters to users.The main benefit of our approach is that it simultaneously produces two types of stimuli, i.e., (1) it moves a tactile stimulus across skin locations and (2) it stretches the user’s skin. Skin drag thereby combines the essential stimuli produced by vibrotactile and skin stretch. In our study, skin drag allowed participants to recognize tactile shapes significantly better than a vibrotactile array of comparable size. We present two arm-worn prototype devices that implement our concept.

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providing location awareness of multiple moving objects in a detail view on large displays

Overview+Detail interfaces can be used to examine the details of complex data while retaining the data’s overall context. Dynamic data introduce challenges for these interfaces, however, as moving objects may exit the detail view, as well as a person’s field of view if they are working at a large interactive surface. To address this “off-view” problem, we propose a new information visualization technique, called Canyon. This technique attaches a small view of an off-view object, including some surrounding context, to the external boundary of the detail view. The area between the detail view and the region containing the off-view object is virtually “folded” to conserve space.

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Understanding Mid-Air Hand Gestures

a study of human preferences in usage of gesture types for HCI

In this paper we present the results of a study of human preferences in using mid-air gestures for directing other humans. Rather than contributing a specific set of gestures, we contribute a set of gesture types, which together make a set of the core actions needed to complete any of our six chosen tasks in the domain of human-to-human gestural communication without the speech channel. We observed 12 participants, cooperating to accomplish different tasks only using hand gestures to communicate. We analyzed 5,500 gestures in terms of hand usage and gesture type, using a novel classification scheme which combines three existing taxonomies in order to better capture this interaction space. Our findings indicate that, depending on the meaning of the gesture, there is preference in the usage of gesture types, such as pointing, pantomimic acting, direct manipulation, semaphoric, or iconic gestures. These results can be used as guidelines to design purely gesture driven interfaces for interactive environments and surfaces.

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