Resonant Bits: Harmonic interaction with virtual pendulums

Peter Bennett, Michael Pages, Stuart Nolan, Kirsten Cater, Ved Uttamchandani, Mike Fraser

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

8 Citations (Scopus)
398 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents the concept of Resonant Bits, an interaction technique for encouraging engaging, slow and skilful interaction with tangible, mobile and ubiquitous devices. The technique is based on the resonant excitation of harmonic oscillators and allows the exploration of a number of novel types of tangible interaction including: ideomotor control, where subliminal micro-movements accumulate over time to produce a visible outcome; indirect tangible interaction, where a number of devices can be controlled simultaneously through an intermediary object such as a table; and slow interaction, with meditative and repetitive gestures being used for control. The Resonant Bits concept is tested as an interaction method in a study where participants resonate with virtual pendulums on a mobile device. The Harmonic Tuner, a resonance-based music player, is presented as a simple example of using resonant bits. Overall, our ambition in proposing the Resonant Bits concept is to promote skilful, engaging and ultimately rewarding forms of interaction with tangible devices that takes time and patience to learn and master.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTEI 2015 - Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781450333054
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2015
Event9th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction, TEI 2015 - Stanford, United States
Duration: 15 Jan 201519 Jan 2015


Conference9th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction, TEI 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Human-computer interaction
  • Ideomotor control
  • Resonance
  • Slow technology
  • Tangible user interface


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  • Tangible Memories

    Cole, T.


    Project: Research

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