A Token user interface (TUI) is type of tangible user interface using the presentation of machine-recognizable physical objects to a computer as its input modality.
The last.fm internet radio service offers several ways of interacting with its playlist creation and underlying listening habit analysis.
In creating an entirely transparent interface to the last.fm service, I bound tokens to several actions:
When a music token is placed on the mir:ror, the associated last.fm stream begins playing. When the music token is removed, the stream is paused. If a different music token is presented, playback switches to its associated stream.
The other tokens are track-specific. The question mark token, when presented invokes a track information disply. The "Love", "Ban", and "Skip" tokens are the equivalents of the GUI buttons they replace.
Using this TUI to the last.fm servie, a user need simply place a token previously associated with a favourite music stream on the reader to begin listening. If he needs to answer the phone or wishes to pause the stream for any other reason, he simply removes the music token from the reader. When a particular track excites his fancy, apathy, or disdain, he need simply reach for the "Love", "Skip", or "Ban" token, respectively; and if he just wants to know what's playing, he can present the question mark token.