d-touch is a marker recognition system that allows users to create their own visual markers, controlling their aesthetic qualities and what they visually communicate to others. By allowing the creation of markers that support interaction both visually and functionally, d-touch can enhance most applications normally supported by visual markers, including interactive guides, mobile service access, mobile games, interactive story telling systems and augmented reality applications that have broad visual appeal and are not constrained to ugly glyphs. The design of the markers on this page is by Tal Drori.

Markers designed for the back of business cards, to illustrate the d-touch

Markers designed for a deck of interactive cards for a children
storytelling game (see also the Mobile Audio Cards project).

Markers that are both functional and visually expressive can be easily produced by a wide spectrum of users, without specific training. Because d-touch markers are designable, end users and designers can consciously determine their look and feel, including the degree to which they are immediately recognisable as markers to be scanned. The design can range from icons that are obviously scannable (explicit) to ones that are hidden in the overall design and only accessible to a closed circle or upon closer look (ambiguous). For applications in which immediate user recognition of the markers is essential, designers may define conventions for the marker placement, e.g. markers may be placed at the bottom right corner of posters or below text in museum labels. Specific application scenarios for professional designers include the creation of highly polished, explicit visual markers that follow the design guidelines of corporate identity, or the incorporation of ambiguous markers in visual communication, such as ads, that are not recognisable at first glance. Application scenarios for end users include hand-drawn expressive visual markers left in the environment to leave location-specific information and traces. Markers could be used as hidden, secret symbols that are ambiguous and only noticed and scanned by an inner circle — echoing established urban phenomena such as graffiti and tags, as well as older hobo codes.

Design and share d-touch markers for your own applications or to customize existing ones, by following the d-touch marker design rules! Check out the examples page.