Tangible User Interface


Gavino Paddeu, valorisation@crs4.it


Today visitors to exhibitions are often welcomed to touch or even to manipulate items such as, for example, geological specimens that are part of the show. The user interaction allows to convey an information message that is not limited to texts and images but is characterized mainly through the sense of touch. The object weight, consistency, temperature and shape can be really appreciated only by manipulating it. Historical, scientific or fantastic narratives, usually in the form of short video documentaries, are often activated in combination to user interaction.


PickARock is a software to create tangible installations. Special sensors connected to an Arduino-like board allow to track user actions on an object (e.g. bring your hand, touch, lift the object) and to convey the appropriate video content on the screen(s) associated with the installation.
PickARock was demonstrated at the following events organized by the Centro Servizi Promozionali per le Imprese of Cagliari, Nuoro and Oristano:

  • "La Sardegna dei Sensi", september 2013, Copenaghen (DK);
  • "Sensi di Sardegna", december 2013, Berlino (DE);
  • Fiera di Cagliari at the booth of Centro Servizi Promozionali per le Imprese, may 2014, Cagliari.

Innovative features

  • management of several people interacting simultaneously;
  • integrated with X-Places framework to aggregate content on any screen in the environment.

Potential users

Visitors, guides and curators in museums and exhibitions. Teachers and students in schools.

Impact sectors

E-learning - Tourism (museums, expos, fairs) - Information - Entertainment (waiting rooms) - Trade (interactive shops).

Other resources

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