Tangible Shopping Research


The tangible shopping environment T®ASH enables new forms of human-computer interaction for complex shopping scenarios such as planning a wedding. Its tangible user interface allows the communication with a computer-based planning-system based upon the position of physical avatars. A complex and partially abstract shopping process can hereby made easier and be turned into a physical shopping experience. The wedding scenario was exemplarily chosen for any complex shopping case as it covers different shopping and planning processes as well as different products and services.


In this project, a doll's house is used as tangible user interface. Each room of the house stands for a specific part of the wedding's shopping scenario. For instance, in the bedroom one can choose the wedding dress and the wedding menu can be composed in the kitchen. Therefore, the user interacts with the doll's house, a doll as well as several physical product and service avatars.

Additionally, the system supports the user with the help of a personal shopping advisor and provides audio and video feedback, respectively. Here, the advisors are witnesses who suggest, for instance, suitable color combinations of shoes and wedding dresses. Trash


RFID readers together with the Accada Framework are used (1) to evaluate the position of the physical avatars and (2) to trigger actions, correspondingly. The graphical feedback on the information screen ist generated by Adobe AIR which retrieves its data from a Java-based server component by using the Artemis Framework.

Demo Video

The following video presents a complete T®ASH shopping experience.

Related publications

Maass, W., Filler, A., Janzen, S. & Kowatsch, T.

Towards a Transition to Tangible Commerce: Design and Evaluation of Conversational Product Interfaces, 4th IEEE International Conference on Digital Ecosystems and Technologies (DEST), Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 2010.
PDF (2.93 MB) - BibTeX

Maass, W. & Kowatsch, T.

Let's Get Married: Adoption of Interactive Product Information For Bundle Purchases By Tangible User Interfaces, 4th Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems (MCIS 09), Athens, Greece, 2009.
Nominations: Best Paper Award
PDF (764 KB) - BibTeX

Maass, W. & Filler, A.

Tip 'n Tell: Product-Centered Mobile Reasoning Support for Tangible Shopping , Proc. of MSWFB 2007: Making Semantics Work For Business, part of 1st European Semantic Technology Conference, Vienna, Austria, 2007.
PDF (87 KB) - BibTeX