Pictionaire is a large interactive table designed to support collocated, creative collaboration. The standing high table measures 4×6, a size that encourages group work. The table senses direct touch, as well as location and orientation of objects placed on it. A high resolution digital still camera captures photographs from above.
Users can create digital copies of physical artifacts with a drag off gesture. To annotate, users can drag digital items from table, onto paper-sized whiteboard slates. Substituting paper for whiteboards, Pictionaire can act as a light table to create hand drawn copies. Users drag images into their notebook and trace relevant parts manually. Overhead image capture and projection also enable spotlight highlighting on physical artifacts.
Wireless keyboards and mice are supported by the table – enabling efficient text input and image search. To organize visual material, Pictionaire offers collection containers.
Sixteen design professionals evaluated the table in open-ended sessions. In addition, eight graduate students completed a thirty minute brainstorming task in pairs. The evaluation revealed that the combination of a large table form factor, general purpose image capture, and digital image management supported a wide variety of creative work styles.
As the size of interactive tables increases and people begin to investigate their use for productivity tasks, it becomes beneficial to consider augmenting table tops with mice and key boards. Pictionaire augments and interactive table top with multiple keyboards and mice. These peripheral devices are tracked by the table and it is demonstrated how their combined input facilitates novel interaction opportunities.
Keyboard and table interaction techniques
Several methods for establishing and visualizing the target for text entry are offered.
Link – by – locking
Dragging an object such as a text box, until it is adjacent to the key board is one way of establishing keyboard focus. Another way to establish focus is to pace the keyboard on top of an object such as a text box. If one begins typing when the keyboard’s focus has not been established, a contextual command prompt appears adjacent to the keyboard. The commands meaning can then be changed by soft buttons projected alongside the keyboard. For example, the user can invoke an image search on the web. The location and position of keyboards on the surface relative to each other might impact the semantics of the text that is entered. For example, distance between keyboards is used to switch between individual and joint queries. Whether joint queries are conjunctive or dysjunctive is expressed by the angle between the two involved keyboards. An open angle broadens the search and a narrow one restricts it.
In text-editing mode, placing keyboards side by side allows them to collaboratively edit a single block of text .
Mouse and table interaction techniques
A leader line can help one locate their mouse cursor on the large surface. The mouse also enables users to interact with objects out of reach, such a rotating objects by rotating the mouse itself or scaling the object using the scroll wheel. Alternatively mouse cursors can be treated as touch inputs in a multi-touch system. Then traditional actions, such as two-fingered resizing, can be achieved using either multiple mice or combinations of fingers and mice.
Proximity information can be used to associate and dissociate mice and keyboards. Or, one can use the mouse’s cursor to click on either a physical or digital object in order to associate it with the mouse.