Sticky Tools

Full 6DOF force-based interaction for multi-touch tables 

Tabletop computing techniques are using physically familiar force-based interactions to enable compelling interfaces that provide a feeling of being embodied with a virtual object. We introduce an interaction paradigm that has the benefits of force-based interaction complete with full 6DOF manipulation. Only multi-touch input, such as that provided by the Microsoft Surface and the SMART Table, is necessary to achieve this interaction freedom. This paradigm is realized through sticky tools: a combination of sticky fingers, a physically familiar technique for moving, spinning, and lifting virtual objects; opposable thumbs, a method for flipping objects over; and virtual tools, a method for propagating behaviour to other virtual objects in the scene. We show how sticky tools can introduce richer meaning to tabletop computing by drawing a parallel between sticky tools and the discussion in Urp [20] around the meaning of tangible devices in terms of nouns, verbs, reconfigurable tools, attributes, and pure objects. We then relate this discussion to other force-based interaction techniques by describing how a designer can introduce complexity in how people can control both physical and virtual objects, how physical objects can control both physical and virtual objects, and how virtual objects can control virtual objects."

Mark Hancock, Thomas ten Cate, and SheelaghCarpendale. In Proc. ITS, pp. 145-152, 2009.

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