ARcadia: A Rapid Prototyping Platform for Real-time Tangible Interfaces


Paper-based fabrication techniques offer powerful opportunities to prototype new technological interfaces. Typically, paper-based interfaces are either static mockups or require integration with sensors to provide real-time interactivity. The latter can be challenging and expensive, requiring knowledge of electronics, programming, and sensing. But what if computer vision could be combined with prototyping domain-aware programming tools to support the rapid construction of interactive, paper-based tangible interfaces? We designed a toolkit called ARcadia that allows for rapid, low-cost prototyping of TUIs that only requires access to a webcam, a web browser, and paper. ARcadia brings paper prototypes to life through the use of marker based augmented reality (AR). Users create mappings between real-world tangible objects and different UI elements. After a crafting and programming phase, all subsequent interactions take place with the tangible objects. We evaluated ARcadia in a workshop with 120 teenage girls and found that tangible AR technologies can empower novice technology designers to rapidly construct and iterate on their ideas.

Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems