Universal Threshold Object

Project Directors: Janet Murray, Ali Mazalek
Abhishek Nandakumar, Balasubramanyam Ganapathi, Ben Pincus, Sahithya Baskaran, Amrutha Krishnan, Laurie Marion, Pratik Zaveri

This project explores the possibilities, challenges, and benefits of using a tangible object as a controller and feedback device in an interactive television show. The Universal Threshold Object (UTO) enables interactors to realize emotional choices in a narrative world through physical action with objects in a way that emphasizes dramatic immersion rather than gamelike skill mastery. Research methods include prototyping based on real television content and iterative design and testing in a demonstration environment. Design strategies for interaction include mapping gesture to dramatic expectations and reinforcing physical presence in the virtual world. The project is in collaboration with the SynLab and was supported by Intel Corporation.


Interactors realize emotional choices through gesture and reinforced physical presence in the virtual world.