tranSticks: physically manipulatable virtual connections

Ayatsuka, Y. and Rekimoto, J. 2005. tranSticks: physically manipulatable virtual connections. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Portland, Oregon, USA, April 02 - 07, 2005). CHI '05. ACM, New York, NY, 251-260.

Abstract: A virtually connected medium called tranStick is described that functions both as a "virtual wire" and as a "memory card" containing a shared space. A user can connect two networked devices by simply placing one of a pair of tranSticks with the same identifier into each device. The tranSticks provide feedback indicating that the devices are connected; the connection to be closed or changed in the same way it would be if the devices were connected by a physical cable. A user can also access to a shared space on a network as if the space were in the tranStick. Since tranSticks contain long secret keys, the process of finding another tranStick with the same identifier can be encrypted. The tranStick approach differs from other approaches in that it provides feedback from the connection as well as serving as a medium for establishing a connection, and it enables disconnection and switchover to be done intuitively because the operations are reversible.

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