TEI'19 WiP, TUIs for Uncertain Input

Extending Input Space of Tangible Dials and Sliders for Uncertain Input

Miriam Greis, Hyunyoung Kim, Andreas Korge, Céline Coutrix, Albrecht Schmidt

Work-inProgress at the 21st International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction, TEI'19 WiP. (to appear)


The extended input space of dial- and slider-based interfaces, to enable value and uncertainty input. The usual interactions (turning a dial or sliding a slider cursor) change value (≈ mean of the desired input). The added modalities -- (a) increasing the diameter, (b) increasing the open space, (c) reducing the pressure on the top of the dial, (d) increasing the cursor size, and (e) splitting the cursor -- allow to input uncertainty (≈ variance or the range of the desired input).

Uncertainty is common when working with data and becomes more important as processing big data gains attention. However, no standard tangible interface element exists for inputting uncertain data. In this article, we extend the input space of two traditional TUIs: dial and slider. We present five designs that are based on dials and sliders and support uncertain input. We conduct focus group interviews to evaluate the designs. The interviews allow us to extend existing design requirements for parameter control UIs to support uncertain input.

Expandable Dial, stretching design.


Pinch Dial


Expandable Slider


Expandable Dial, squeezing design.

Pressure Dial

Split Slider