E188 - Institut für Softwaretechnik und Interaktive Systeme
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Throughout the last decades the Graphical User Interface (GUI) has become the main type of user interface. GUIs present digital information in the form of painted bits on a display and therefore are restricted to very limited communication channels. Tangible User Interfaces (TUI) describe a new method of human-computer interaction (HCI) and try to extend interaction beyond the traditional approach of a graphical user interface, consisting of a rectangular display, a mouse and a keyboard. The focus lies on the development of new ways of interacting with digital information directly over the physical environment and real world features. In recent years a growing number of work dealing with tangible user interfaces has focused on learning. Designers are increasingly inventing tangible interfaces for educational purposes, based on the assumption that hands-on activities on physical objects or the manipulation of such can be of educational benefit. This thesis focuses on tangible musical interfaces, a term used to describe user interfaces which directly interact with music over physical objects. We present a prototype for tangible music and sound composition for educational and artistic purposes. Based on an extensive literature review application scenarios are evaluated, design requirements defined and sketches created. During that design process we examine how data objects containing information about music and sound can be realized with tangibles and how music and sound can be generated with such. We further discuss how tangible composition can be modeled especially for children. Besides designing simple tangible objects for children, also more sophisticated objects are created for older users. Further an evaluation of the implemented functional prototype is performed and possibilities and limitations of tangible music and sound composition are discussed.