Physical to Digital Color Mixer

After using our sight, we experience the world around us primarily with our sense of touch. With a single touch, we receive tactile feedback regarding temperature, texture, weight, hardness, center of gravity and more. Sadly, more often than not, our interactions with technology are reduced to a using keyboard, mouse or touch screen.

Mixing color in the real world is a particularly tactile experience. The tactile feedback from mixing liquids, pastes and pigments makes the experience much more rich and engaging. The “Physical-Digital Color Mixer” attempts to capitalize on the engaging tactile feedback of mixing physical liquids with the versatility of using color digitally.

Users are presented with illuminated cups of red, green and blue, the primary colors of light. By mixing them in different amounts into a central container they can see the light blend in real time until they achieve a desired color. Once happy with the color, the user can then use the physical paint brush and touch the computer tablet in order to send the color to a drawing program. Once sent, the color is added to the user's digital palette to be used on command. They can then use the paintbrush directly on the tablet to draw on screen, switching among the colors they have created. If more gradual changes in color are desired, the user can choose to pour additional color into the mixing container while they are painting to achieve beautiful color gradients.

In addition to using the color digitally, the user can also touch the brush to the lamp on the desk, causing it to glow in the currently mixed color. Once they are ready to start over and mix a new color, they can flush the reset lever which drains the mixing tube and refills the red, green and blue cups.