Dirty Tangible Interfaces

Control computers with true grit!

Dirty Tangible Interfaces (DIRTI) are a new concept in interaction design that forgoes the dogma of repeatability in favor of a richer and more complex experience, constantly evolving, irreversible & infinitely modifiable.

DIRTI for iPad with liquids
DIRTI Performance edition with tapioca
DIRTI Autonomous edition with feathers

By video tracking granular or liquid interaction materials such as sand, tapioca or vanilla ice cream contained in a semi-transparent dish of any size and shape, DIRTI gathers real-time information about the 3D relief and its movement. This relief, and the dynamic changes applied to it by one or more players are interpreted to mold 3D landscapes, design abstract visuals, play music on an iPad…

DIRTI for iPad at the CENTQUATRE (Futur en Seine 2013)

A grayscale camera image is used as the source for detecting various parameters:

  • density of interaction material
  • quantity of movement of the interaction material
  • shapes

The applications that can use — and derive from the use — of DIRTI are almost infinitely diverse:

Here's a 3D terrain editor where holes can be dug in the dirt in order to reach water
Here's a 3D depth visualization of that terrain
And here are our soundscapes, composed by Roland Cahen and used within DIRTI for iPad