Shallow-depth 3D interaction: Design and evaluation of one-, two- and three-touch techniques

Mark Hancock, Sheelagh Carpendale, and Andy Cockburn. In Proc. CHI 2007, pp. 1147-1156, 2007. (Nominated for Best Paper Award).

Publication and Related Materials

pdf (1.08 MB)
mov (54.32 MB)


On traditional tables, people frequently use the third dimension to pile, sort and store objects. However, while effective and informative for organization, this use of the third dimension does not usually extend far above the table. To enrich interaction with digital tables, we present the concept of shallow-depth 3D -- 3D interaction with limited depth. Within this shallow-depth 3D environment several common interaction methods need to be reconsidered. Starting from any of one, two and three touch points, we present interaction techniques that provide control of all types of 3D rotation coupled with translation (6DOF) on a direct-touch tabletop display. The different techniques exemplify a wide range of interaction possibilities: from the one-touch technique, which is designed to be simple and natural, but inherits a degree of imprecision from its simplicity; through to three-touch interaction, which allows precise bimanual simultaneous control of multiple degrees of freedom, but at the cost of simplicity. To understand how these techniques support interaction in shallow-depth 3D, we present a user study that examines the efficiency of, and preferences for, the techniques developed. Results show that users are fastest and most accurate when using the three-touch technique and that their preferences were also strongly in favour of the expressive power available from three-touch.

Bibtex entry

@INPROCEEDINGS { hancock:2007:shallow-depth,
    AUTHOR = { Mark Hancock and Sheelagh Carpendale and Andy Cockburn },
    TITLE = { Shallow-Depth {3D} Interaction: Design and Evaluation of One-, Two- and Three-Touch Techniques },
    BOOKTITLE = { Proc. CHI 2007 },
    YEAR = { 2007 },
    PAGES = { 1147--1156 },
    ADDRESS = { New York, NY, USA },
    PUBLISHER = { ACM Press },
    NOTE = { (Nominated for Best Paper Award) },
    DOI = { 10.1145/1240624.1240798 },
    ISBN = { 978-1-59593-593-9 },
    LOCATION = { San Jose, California, USA },