Supervisor: Krishna Subramanian
Tangible User Interfaces (TUI) attract a wide range of users. They rely on the human instinct to be involved and inventive and can provide a means of communicating with computer applications in ways that exploit the awareness and interaction abilities of users with the real, non-digital world. Therefore, more and more research is done in this area. [Underkoffler and Ishii, 1999] Tangibles increase speed, accuracy, and awareness of users. Tangibles are often used with large touch screens called tabletops. The large screen size of tabletops makes it possible for multiple users to collaborate. Also, touch screen surfaces will become cheaper to produce, which will make them affordable. Collaborative work on tabletops involves data sharing which can be performed with tangibles. Therefore, we decided to investigate how people share data using tangibles while working on a tabletop. In this thesis, we introduce TangiFlow, a tangible-based, general-purpose visual programming tool. We also used this tool to examine how people share data using tangibles. We have discovered two new interaction techniques for tangible data sharing in addition to 2 existing ones. Furthermore, we found out why people sometimes do not share tangibles during data sharing tasks and how the increase in the amount of tangibles affects the process of data sharing.