“InteractiveTop: An Entertainment System that Enhances the Experience of Playing with Tops” by Sato, Matoba and Koike

  • ©Toshiki Sato, Yasushi Matoba, and Hideki Koike


Entry Number: 08


    InteractiveTop: An Entertainment System that Enhances the Experience of Playing with Tops



    A top is a simple toy, yet its behavior is unique when compared with the behaviors of other physical toys. Its attractive behavior is based on the gyroscopic effect acting within the top. We sense the force of the gyroscopic effect when touching or handling them. We consider that this experience helps children become aware of a basic phenomenon of physics. In traditional research[Ishii et al. 1999], a visual and audio effect are often used to augment playging experience of sports or physical toys. In this project, we especially focused on augmentation of physical contact between the tops and the players by using force feedback.

    In this project, first we attempted to create feedback from the top to the user. We focus on three top behaviors: (1) on-axis rotation, (2) horizontal translation and (3) collisions between tops. We developed a system to augment these top behaviors and provide feedback to the user with visual and audio effects and force feedback. Second, as the action from the user to the top, we allowed the user to control the top. In the case of traditional tops, there are ways to control the top such as direct touching with the hand or using a special item such as a whip. These methods require special techniques and are a significant element of the fun of playing with tops, however, it is difficult for a beginner to control a top. We increased the controllability of the top to open up new possibilities of playing with tops.


    ISHII, H., WISNESKI, C., ORBANES, J., CHUN, B., AND PARADISO, J. 1999. Pingpongplus: design of an athletic-tangible interface for computer-supported cooperative play. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems: the CHI is the limit, ACM, New York, NY, USA, CHI ’99, 394–401.

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©Toshiki Sato, Yasushi Matoba, and Hideki Koike ©Toshiki Sato, Yasushi Matoba, and Hideki Koike


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