DH2400 Physical Interaction Design and Realization 7.5 credits

Fysisk interaktionsdesign

In this course you will learn to create interactive systems that work outside the conventional laptop/tablet/smartphone paradigm, to suit specific physical use situations. You will learn to identify the sensors, actuators, microcontrollers and materials needed, and use these to make prototypes of different levels of fidelity.

Main contents

  • Analysing and developing interaction design concepts based on a physically complex use context

  • Methods for envisioning, sketching, and illustrating physical interaction

  • Understanding the design potential of different materials and technologies

  • Elements of industrial design: making physical models, mockups and prototypes using different tools and materials

  • Theory related to embodied interaction and interaction with physical objects

  • State of the art devices, tools, products and systems, as well as knowledge of recent research projects in the area

  • Electronic circuit basics, including resistors, capacitors, LEDs and different conductive and resistive materials

  • Sensors and actuators: construction, uses and application

  • Using prototyping microcontrollers for putting together a working interactive system

Examination is divided into several parts, including online quizzes, reading seminars, and project work. You will see specific instructions of the individual parts and activities, and will also be able to follow the assessment of them on Canvas.

Course literature

Online research papers and other sources listed in course assignments.

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Course information

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents *


  • interaction with physical objects. Elements of industrial design
  • state of the art "tangible" devices, giveaway sensor projects
  • other physical forms of interaction: e.g. haptics, eye tracking, two-hand interaction, feet interaction, dance.


  • recap of electronic circuit basics, including resistors, capacitors and LEDs
  • sensors and actuators for various destinations, built with various technologies
  • prototyping interactive installations with Phidgets
  • simple microcontrollers: BASIC Stamp, Arduino
  • communicating with a computer or with another installation
  • elements of advanced microcontrollers, wireless sensor networks
  • elements of augmented reality.

Intended learning outcomes *

Students will:

  • get familiar with techniques and technologies allowing them to create interactive systems that work outside, or along with the classical mouse-keyboard-and-screen paradigm.

For that, the students will:

  • be able to identify the sensors, actuators and microcontrollers needed for a system
  • use sensors, actuators and microcontrollers for prototypes of various levels of fidelity
  • put together prototypes in a hands-on manner.

Course Disposition

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Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites *

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Recommended prerequisites

Basic electronics knowledge corresponding to MF1035 Electrical Engineering, Basic Course Media or DM1588 Sensor Programming for Media Technology.


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To be announced at least 4 weeks before course start.

Examination and completion

Grading scale *

P, F

Examination *

  • PRO1 - Project, 7.5 credits, Grading scale: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

In this course all the regulations of the code of honor at the School of Computer science and Communication apply, see: http://www.kth.se/csc/student/hederskodex/1.17237?l=en_UK.

Other requirements for final grade *

Installation construction and programming exercises, reflective diary and project (PRO1; 7,5 hp).

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Ylva Fernaeus

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web DH2400

Offered by

EECS/Human Centered Technology

Main field of study *

Computer Science and Engineering, Information Technology, Information and Communication Technology

Education cycle *

Second cycle

Add-on studies

Please discuss with the instructor.


Cristian Bogdan, tel: 790 6279, e-post: cristi@kth.se

Ethical approach *

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Supplementary information

In this course, the EECS code of honor applies, see:

The number of participants is limited.

The selection process will be based on the following criteria:

Spring term 2018:

  1. Students who have the course as a compulsory course in the interactive media master programme, track physical interaction
  2. Students admitted to the interactive media programme,
  3. Other KTH-students interested in the course

Autumn term 2018:

  1. EIT-students
  2. Students admitted to the interactive media programme,
  3. Other KTH-students interested in the course