We present steps toward a conceptual framework for tangible user interfaces. We introduce the MCRpd interaction model for tangible interfaces, which relates the role of physical and digital representations, physical control, and underlying digital models. This model serves as a foundation for identifying and discussing several key characteristics of tangible user interfaces. We identify a number of systems exhibiting these characteristics, and situate these within 12 application domains. Finally, we discuss tangible interfaces in the context of related research themes, both within and outside of the human-computer interaction domain.
Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.