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Tech Note: Digital Foam

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3 Author(s)
Smith, R.T. ; Univ. of South Australia, Adelaide ; Thomas, B.H. ; Piekarski, W.

This paper presents a new input device called digital foam designed to support natural sculpting operations similar to those used when sculpting clay. We have constructed two prototypes to test the concept of using a conductive foam input device to create 3D geometries and perform sculpting operations. The novel contributions of this paper include the realization that conductive foam sensors are accurate enough to allow fine grained control of position sensing and can be used to build foam based input devices. We have designed a novel foam sensor array by combining both conductive and non-conductive foam to allow interference free sensor readings to be recorded. We also constructed two novel input devices, one flat input device with one hundred sensors, and a second spherical design with twenty one sensors, both allowing user interactions by touching or squeezing the foam surface. We present the design idea, foam sensor theory, two prototype designs, and the initial application ideas used to explore the possible uses of digital foam.

Published in:

3D User Interfaces, 2008. 3DUI 2008. IEEE Symposium on

Date of Conference:

8-9 March 2008