Embodied spatial thinking in tangible computing

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Conference Proceeding

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Tangible user interfaces are based on the premise that embodied cognition in computing can enhance cognitive processes. However, the ways in which embodied cognition in computing transform spatial thinking have not yet been rigorously studied. I have co-designed Tangible Landscape - a continuous shape display powered by a geographic information system - and used it to explore how technology mediates spatial cognition in a rigorous experiment. In this terrain modeling experiment I use geospatial analytics to analyze how visual computing with a GUI and tangible computing with a shape display mediate multidimensional spatial performance. My initial findings suggest that: 1. digital sculpting via a GUI is unintuitive, 2. shape displays like Tangible Landscape can be intuitive, enhance spatial performance, and enable rapid iteration and ideation, and 3. different analytics encourage significantly different modes of spatial thinking and strategies for modeling.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

TEI 2016 - Proceedings of the 10th Anniversary Conference on Tangible Embedded and Embodied Interaction

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