Embeding information retrieval into tangible interactions.

Tangible Interface for Collaborative Information Retrievalby Alan F. Blackwell, Mark Stringer, Eleanor F. Toye and Jennifer A. Rode

Most information retrieval (IR) interfaces are designed for a single user working with a dedicated interface. We present a system in which the IR interface has been fully integrated into a collaborative context of discussion or debate relating to the query topic. By using a tangible user interface, we support multiple users interacting simultaneously to refine the query. Integration with more powerful back-end query processing is still in progress, but we have already been able to evaluate the prototype interface in a real context of use, and confirmed that it can improve relevance rankings compared to single-user dedicated search engines such as Google.

Why do I blog this? because (at the lab) we're discussing projects about interactive tables to embed queries/information retrieval into tangible interactions. This project is however more based on query construction in a collaborative setting.