The wise chisel: The rise of the smart handheld tool

Amit Zoran, Roy Shilkrot, Pragun Goyal, Pattie Maes, Joseph A. Paradiso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Smart handheld tools epitomize a mythical and technological quest for personal mastery of skill, delivering both might and mind in the hands of their holders. A recent spur of academic and industrial efforts has given rise to a new field of research in HCI, one devoted to smart handheld tools. Here, the authors offer a definition for smart handheld tools, discuss the tools' origins and motivation, and present a survey of prominent work by themselves and others in disciplines such as fabrication, painting, printing, and maintenance. They also discuss their experiences operating in this new territory and conclude with a vision of a hybrid creative practice: smart handheld instruments that enable synergetic cooperation with human skill, personal style, and computational assistance that results in accuracy, guidance, and protection for users. This article is part of a special issue on printing and fabrication.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number6850242
Pages (from-to)48-57
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Pervasive Computing
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D printing
  • craft
  • design
  • digital fabrication
  • graphics
  • handheld tools
  • human-computer interaction (HCI)
  • manual skill
  • pervasive computing
  • printing


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