Traditional paper remains a key medium in many domains of our daily lives. We use handwritten grocery lists, we sign contracts on paper and read printed articles because of the mobile, robust and highly flexible nature of paper. Instead of being replaced by digital systems, paper artifacts coexist with these systems, inevitably leading to the problem of integration: the ''Digital-Physical Gap''. In order to bridge this gap, a new generation of user interfaces successfully employed digital pen technology, giving shape to a new style of interaction: Pen-and-Paper Interaction (PPI).

While most prior PPI systems focused on processing in a classical desktop setting, recent systems focus on processing settings of mobile and ubiquitous computing. To provide support for PPI in applications and systems within these settings, developers need adequate infrastructures and toolkits. Letras provides such tool support. It is a novel toolkit for pen-based interaction, with a focus on the mobile and ubiquitous use of PPI and sharing of processing resources among applications: interaction in mobile and changing environments, input on arbitrary surfaces and simultaneous use of multiple pens becomes easily possible.

Letras is based on the ubiquitous computing middleware MundoCore and leverages a distributed pipeline architecture. Successive processing stages with clearly defined separated interfaces channel digital ink data to applications and transform it appropriately. Letras employs a gray-box framework approach: application developers can construct applications using a set of predefined components which only have to be "plugged together" or developers can choose to extend and customize components if required by the targeted setting. Highly flexible deployment schemes allow for easy adaption to the specific requirements of the environment at hand. Hence, Letras provides an extensible platform for rapid development of ubiquitous PPI based applications, empowering application developers to base on a common infrastructure and processing model.

The project homepage of Letras (including downloads) can be found here.

Former project members

  • Felix Heinrichs
  • Dr. Jürgen Steimle
  • Dr. Daniel Schreiber

Two Full Papers Accepted at CHI 2018

We will present two full papers at CHI 2018: Off-Line Sensing: Memorizing Interactions in Passive 3D-Printed ObjectsMartin Schmitz, Martin Herbers, Niloofar Dezfuli, Sebastian Günther, Max... [more]

Category: Startseite, Allgemeine News


Full Paper Accepted at CHI 2017

We will present a full paper at CHI 2017: Flexibles: Deformation-Aware 3D-Printed Tangibles for Capacitive Touchscreens(Martin Schmitz, Jürgen Steimle, Jochen Huber, Niloofar Dezfuli & Max Mühlhäuser)  [more]

Category: Allgemeine News, Startseite


Hessian Minister for Science tested new version of TK's Smart Table, Permulin

During a recent event at the Future Innovation Lab of TU Darmstadt's spin-off company Leap-In-Time by Prof. Ruth Stock-Homburg, the Hessian Minister for Science and Arts, Boris Rhein, was one of the first to have a closer look on... [more]

Category: Allgemeine News


TK’s Smart Table featured in Commerzbank video about the future of work

Commerzbank, Germany’s second largest bank, produced a vision film about the future of work and workplaces. It features three areas of TU Darmstadt‘s spin-off company Leap-in-Time headed by Prof. Ruth Stock-Homburg from the... [more]

Category: Allgemeine News


Three Posters Accepted at CHI 2016

TK is going to present three Late-Breaking-Work posters at this year's CHI conference in San Jose. The accepted posters are: FreeTop: Finding Free Spots for Projective AugmentationJan Riemann, Mohammadreza Khalilbeigi, Martin... [more]

Category: Allgemeine News


Paper Accepted at UIST 2015

We will present the following paper at UIST 2015: Capricate: A Fabrication Pipeline to Design and 3D Print Capacitive Touch Sensors for Interactive Objects(Martin Schmitz, Mohammadreza Khalilbeigi, Matthias Balwierz, Roman... [more]

Category: Allgemeine News


TK Receives Surface Hub Award from Microsoft Research

Microsoft Research recently developed a number of prototypes of a novel electronic whiteboard. A worldwide competition was launched where pertinent research groups could propose innovative research projects that would leverage... [more]

Category: Allgemeine News

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