The relevance of tangible-shape changing interfaces for automotive design

The number of tertiary features in the car is constantly growing. Especially the availability of larger and cheaper screens pushed this development, because virtual representations seem to push the boundaries of limited space in the dashboard.

Unfortunately this development seems to lead to a huge variety of distraction, especially visually.
In his Master’s Thesis, Thomas Grah focuses on the question if tangible shape-changing interfaces can support the driver while avoiding distraction from the primary driving tasks and provide rich information and interaction.

 

Perceptual Motor Skills in Shape-changing Interfaces

Self actuated interfaces are an area of hci with great potential. While the design space is explored lately, parameters of Shape-change remains an area of discussion. In my master thesis I look into design principles of TEI and set a focus on the perceptual motor skills. Whether it is the transformation capabilities by the user or by the computation, there evolve new dynamics in these digital systems. Looking into psychological research findings should bring new leads for designing interactions with shape-changing interfaces.

First Interface for User Tests

Squeeze Pump

For the implementation of user tests, we are currently developeding a test interface, which transfers the mental model of a switch button onto the change in volume of a flexible object.

This test is meant to clarify, if a change in functioning interferes with the underlying mental model of the user.