SPINE: A TUI Toolkit and Physical Computing Hybrid

Hadjakos, Aristotelis and Waloschek, Simon

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

Physical computing platforms such as the Arduino have significantly simplified developing physical musical interfaces. However, those platforms typically target everyday programmers rather than composers and media artists. On the other hand, tangible user interface (TUI) toolkits, which provide an integrated, easy-to-use solution have not gained momentum in modern music creation. We propose a concept that hybridizes physical computing and TUI toolkit approaches. This helps to tackle typical TUI toolkit weaknesses, namely quick sensor obsolescence and limited choices. We developed a physical realization based on the idea of "universal pins", which can be configured to perform a variety of duties, making it possible to connect different sensor breakouts and modules. We evaluated our prototype by making performance measurements and conducting a user study demonstrating the feasibility of our approach.