Psysical Interface Design


Prerequisite/Recommended prerequisite for participation in the module

Introduction to Programming, Interaction Design, Mathematics for Multimedia Applications or similar

Content, progress and pedagogy of the module

Physical Interface Design is a course module where students learn about basic principles of electronics and how different sensors can be interfaced to a microcontroller to design novel forms of interactions between man and machines.

Learning objectives


  • Should be able to recall basic circuit theory concepts and rules, including resistance, voltage, current, Ohm’s law, and Kirchoff’s laws (knowledge)
  • Should be able to describe basic analog (e.g., potentiometers, force sensitive resistors) and digital (e.g., push button, touch interface) sensing technologies (knowledge)
  • Should be able to express how a micro-controller can be used for measuring/actuating analog and digital inputs/outputs by the use of sensors and output devices (e.g., displays, LEDs, and vibrators) (understanding)
  • Should be able to recall that some functionalities can be implemented using both hardware and software (knowledge), and to discuss the pros and cons of either solution (understanding)
  • Should be able to identify practical needs in electric circuits such as DC filtering and circuit protection (understanding)
  • Should be able to describe basic amplification (e.g., OpAmp) and filtering (e.g., RC and RL) circuits (knowledge)
  • Should be able to explain basic concepts such as sampling and scaling in context of real-time use of signals (understanding)


  • Should be able to apply the taught skills and methods on physical interface design to develop a prototype/artifact, and to demonstrate its use (application)
  • Should be able to formulate a linear system of equations for voltage, current and resistance relationships in an electric circuit, and to solve the system to find unknown currents, voltages, or resistances (application)
  • Should be able to use an electronic circuit simulator (application)
  • Should be able to sketch and interpret an electric circuit diagram (application)
  • Should be able to program a microcontroller to make it read inputs from sensor circuits and produce output(s) to a user (e.g., vibration, light, and text) (application)
  • Should be able to examine and verify basic electric circuit designs using, e.g., a multimeter, and to test if a build electric circuit has the desired functionalities (analysis)
  • Should be able to apply basic interface design principles for realizing a physical interface for human-computer interaction in the context of use (application)
  • Should be able to assess the artifact by applying taught evaluation method(s) (evaluation)


  • Should be able to summarize the whole design process of the artifact (synthesis)
  • Should be able to use correct technical and theoretical terms in dissemination (application)

Type of instruction

Refer to the overview of instruction types listed in the start of chapter 3. The types of instruction for this course are decided in accordance with the Joint Programme Regulations and directions are decided and given by the Study Board for Media Technology.

Notice: This elective course might not be offered if less than 10 students sign up.



Name of examPsysical Interface Design
Type of exam
Written or oral exam
Assessment7-point grading scale
Type of gradingInternal examination
Criteria of assessmentAs stated in the Joint Programme Regulations

Facts about the module

Danish titleFysisk interfacedesign
Module codeESNITCOB6K7
Module typeCourse
Duration1 semester
Language of instructionEnglish
Location of the lectureCampus Copenhagen
Responsible for the module


Study BoardStudy Board of Electronics and IT
DepartmentDepartment of Electronic Systems
FacultyTechnical Faculty of IT and Design