Blurring boundaries: Mixed input modes to alleviate common limitations with current digital environments
Date 19/01/2011, Time 14:00-15:00, Location LRI Bât 490, Salle 79 (how to get there ?)
Digital environments, such as desktop computers, mobile devices and large surfaces depend on input mechanisms or devices to engage users in interacting with them. These input devices are partly defined by the type of mode they operate under. For example, the mouse is an indirect input device that allows one to position a desktop cursor with relative displacements of the device. A tablet pen facilitates direct input and relies on absolute positioning to control the virtual cursor. Recently, researchers have proposed techniques that allow transitioning between various input modes to harness the inherent potential available in each of these. However most techniques still suffer from additional overheads and other costs associated in switching modes. In this presentation, I summarize our recent results that examine the benefits of blurring the rigid boundaries that have existed between different input modes. With examples taken from three different environments, large surfaces, mobile devices and the desktop computer, I demonstrate that blending input modes can result in significant performance gains in our interactions. I present guidelines for mixing input modes on existing or novel devices and offer suggestions on how these can be leveraged to create novel interactions. I end the talk with a brief description of other HCI projects at the University of Manitoba.