Real Tools for Virtual Objects

Touch Interactive (a Scotland-based consumer product design company offering a more contemporary range of design services) has this project: Real Tools for Virtual Objects:

Real Tools for Virtual Objects is an ongoing research project at Touch Interactive. The objective of the project is to develop research knowledge in the area of creative computer use with the overall aim to develop new, exciting, and more effective interactive solutions for designers working with computers for 3D design and development. The project aims to develop new tangible solutions to human-computer interaction focusing on the physical and social human interface as the absolute target for design development. (...) At this stage the project has developed input devices for generating 3D virtual concepts. This has come about from the extensive design research developed for this project from challenging contemporary computer related design and modelling solutions to traditional creative processes and physical modelling techniques. (...) Each tool has a metaphor which represents its task. They also have affordances to guide the user to perform their specific tasks. The system has seperate software windows customised for each tool.

Why do I blog this? it's a very pertinent project which connects both new tangible interfaces AND physical affordances. I like this idea of a tool seens as a metaphor to represent its task. The notion of affordance is indeed a crux issue for interaction design.