Direct intentions: The effects of input devices on collaboration around a tabletop display

Tara Whalen, Vicki Ha, Kori M. Inkpen, Regan L. Mandryk and Stacey D. Scott, and Mark S. Hancock. Technical Report, Dalhousie University, 2004.

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This paper explores users' interpersonal interactions during collaboration around a tabletop display, in order to better understand the affordances offered by this medium. We investigate participants' collaborative interactions, particularly related to the type of input device provided. Stylus, mouse, and touch-based interactions were provided to allow multiple people to simultaneously interact with tabletop systems in a series of studies, and we observed how the choice of direct or indirect input device affected collaboration. In this paper we discuss how direct and indirect input affect gestures, natural interactions, ergonomics, territoriality, and awareness of both intention and action. The findings from our studies are presented, along with the advantages, drawbacks, and special considerations of each input type in the context of a tabletop setting. These results are valuable for those who deploy and design tabletop systems, by providing them with guidelines for appropriate choice of input device.

Bibtex entry

@TECHREPORT { whalen:2004:direct,
    AUTHOR = { Tara Whalen and Vicki Ha and Kori M. Inkpen and Regan L. Mandryk and Stacey D. Scott and Mark S. Hancock },
    TITLE = { Direct Intentions: The Effects of Input Devices on Collaboration around a Tabletop Display },
    INSTITUTION = { Dalhousie University },
    YEAR = { 2004 },
    TYPE = { Technical Report },