Our work was inspired by a need to manage multiple files on our computers through traditional interaction techniques such as keyboard and mouse. Because most of our day-to-day data is already stored in cloud-services such as Dropbox, and thus accessible to any device with an internet connection, we thought about developing a new way of interacting with it: Touchcloud.

How it works

Touchcloud is a service that combines near field communication (NFC) stickers with a mobile and desktop app. Users can map any file in their Dropbox with one or more stickers (using the app), and then place these stickers anywhere in their environments for later retrieval.

This action creates an association between data and physical locations, much like we organize physical information in our working spaces. Touchcloud also changes how we share information, creating physical gateways to specific and contextual content. Currently, anyone with an NFC-enabled device (most Android phones and tablets) can retrieve information from the stickers - no app is required.

  • The video shows an earlier version of the mobile app, where users were required to download any tagged file. In the current version of the app any file that exists in the device is automatically opened, and if not, the system automatically downloads and opens it.

What's next for Touchcloud

We are currently conducting a long-term user study of Touchcloud, which will tell what kind of data and physical locations are more relevant for different users. We want to develop this understanding in parallel with further development of the system for Apple devices. We also want to make Touchcloud a sensible decision for business-oriented users, as we believe it is an amazing tool for marketing, etc.

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