November 24, 2007
Reading for November 27th, are now posted. Enjoy!

October 2, 2007
To upload your thoughtless acts, create a new assignment page like any other lab. You'll see "Thoughtless Acts" listed as one of the assignment options.

May 24, 2008
This site has been archived and is no longer editable. Stay tuned for the next version, coming in the fall!

Paper Gestures

Project Members: 
Lora Oehlberg


Note taking is a creative and practical custom integral to everyday life. People use note taking to record information, keep track of ideas and/or communicate with others. In order to find our ideas later, we often come up with different ways of marking our notes, whether using different colored Post-Its to write "to do" notes or "dog-earing" the paper in our sketchbooks. At the same time, we want to manipulate our notes digitally, by sharing them or collecting all of our related notes into one place. What if we could use physical gestures to digitally organize our notes? We would like to use paper gestures as a tangible way for people to connect notes to one physical form: a notebook. This augmented notebook would physically anchor our information, allowing us to directly manipulate how the contents of the physical notebook are organized and shared in its digital “Second Life”.




We intend to conduct a brief contextual inquiry into how people mark pages in books or journals. Currently we are considering a number of gestures, including folding the top corner, folding the bottom corner, or folding the page in half towards the binding (see attached folding diagrams). We are also considering physically changing the form factor of the bound book in order to achieve our desired range of folding techniques.

Each type of fold could be used to cue a different action: sharing a page or choosing a digital tag for that page. We are currently considering implementing this through associating folded pages with unique blog entries, and then categorizing that entry based on the type of folded gesture. We also would like unfolding to represent un-tagging or un-sharing the given content.

We will be using Anoto pens and paper to obtain digital copies of the notebook content, and are in contact with Anoto-interaction researchers at Stanford University’s Interactivity Group. We are considering the following fold-sensing options:

  • embedded RFIDs in the pages with readers in the book binding.
  • using computer vision to detect changes in the notebook's profile.
  • using perforations in the page with photoconductors or photodiodes in order to detect occlusions from folding.
  • detecting changes in resistance in copper wiring embedded in notebook pages.


Related Work/Inspiration:

Origami Desk, MIT Media Lab.

iDeas, Stanford Interactivity Group (CS/HCI)

Butterfly Net, Stanford Interactivity Group (CS/HCI)

One-Corner Folds4.85 KB
Two-Corner Folds5.71 KB

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