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Human-Computer Interaction(HCI)

INTRODUCTION [Paper 1, Video 1, Video 2]: BUILD-IT is a planning tool based on computer vision technology, with a capacity for complex planning and composition tasks. The system enables users, grouped around a table, to interact in a virtual scene, using physical bricks to select and manipulate virtual models. A plan view of the scene is projected onto the table. A perspective view of the scene, called side view, is projected on the wall. The plan view contains a storage space with originals, allowing users to create new models and to activate tools (e.g. navigation and height tools). Model selection is done by putting a brick at the model position. Once selected, models can be positioned, rotated and fixed by simple brick manipulation.

Using the BUILD-IT system as a research platform for graspable interaction, our exploration takes the following path [Paper 1]: We first introduce some of the problems related to working in physical and virtual environments, then indicates a few guidelines to achieve what we call natural interaction. Then we give more details about the interaction content, which is configuration and planning tasks. We presents the interaction form, Augmented Reality (AR) and give more detail on designing hand-held bricks for interaction. We also present new implementations for three-dimensional (3D) navigation. As a particular use of hand-held tools, we introduce alternative ways to control model height in the BUILD-IT system. We also discuss the outcome of our design activity and suggests ways to advance the issues presented before.

NAVIGATION OF VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS [Paper 2]: In an Augmented Reality (AR) system using a brick-based tangible user interface, we present and evaluate alternative techniques for scene navigation. Going from two-dimensional brick-based input to three-dimensional navigation presents design issues. There are two fundamental methods for scene control: scene handling or viewpoint handling. The system has two views (plan and side), presenting action-perception spaces which are coincident and separate. Four tools were developed to explore design solutions, testing the alternative methods in each view. In a quantitative user experiment with a search-and-position task, we evaluated the four tools, measuring performance by trial completion time. Results showed that scene and viewpoint handling performed equally well in the plan view. In the side view, scene handling performed better. Subjective ranking showed that scene handling was always preferred to viewpoint handling. Results indicate that when action-perception spaces are coincident, the choice of handling method is less critical than when separate.

ACTIVITY THEORY APPLIED TO THE DESIGN OF GROUPWARE [Paper 3]: Activity theory is based on the concept of tools mediating between subjects and objects. In this theory, an individual’s creative interaction with his or her surroundings can result in the production of tools. When an individual’s mental processes are exteriorized in the form of tools - termed objectification - they become more accessible to other people and are therefore useful for social interaction. This paper shows how our understanding of activity theory has shaped our design philosophy for groupware and how we have applied it. Our design philosophy and practice is exemplified by a description of the BUILD-IT system. This is an Augmented Reality system we developed to enhance group work; it is a kind of graspable groupware which supports cooperative planning. The system allows a group of people, co-located around a table, to interact, by means of physical bricks, with models in a virtual three-dimensional (3D) setting. Guided by task analysis, a set of specific tools for different 3D planning and configuration tasks was implemented as part of this system. We investigate both physical and virtual tools. These tools allow users to adjust model height, viewpoint, and scale of the virtual setting. Finally, our design practice is summarized in a set of design guidelines. Based on these guidelines, we reflect on our own design practice and the usefulness of activity theory for design.

all HCI publications

Selected HCI publications

[Paper 1] M. Fjeld, F. Voorhorst, M. Bichsel, K. Lauche, M. Rauterberg & H. Krueger (1999): Exploring Brick-Based Navigation and Composition in an Augmented Reality. In H.-W. Gellersen (ed.) Handheld and Ubiquitous Computing (HUC 99), Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 1707. Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, pp. 102-116.

[Paper 2] M. Fjeld, N. Ironmonger, S. Guttormsen Schär, H. Krueger (in press): Design and Evaluation of Four AR Navigation Tools Using Scene and Viewpoint Handling. In Proceedings of INTERACT 2001, Eighth IFIP TC.13 Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, Tokyo (JP).

[Paper 3] M. Fjeld, K. Lauche, M.Bichsel, F. Voorhorst, H. Krueger & M. Rauterberg (2002): Physical and Virtual Tools: Activity Theory Applied to the Design of Groupware (abstract). In B. A. Nardi & D. F. Redmiles (eds.) A Special Issue of Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Activity Theory and the Practice of Design, Volume 11 (1-2), pp. 153-180.NEW

[Video 1] M. Fjeld, F. Voorhorst, M. Bichsel, H. Krueger & M. Rauterberg (video, 2000): Navigation Methods for an Augmented Reality System. In the video program / extended abstracts of CHI 2000, pp. 8-9. (RealMedia G2, ACM SIGCHI Video Database)

[Video 2] M.Rauterberg, M. Fjeld, H.Krueger, M.Bichsel, U.Leonhardt & M.Meier (video, 1998): BUILD-IT:A Planning Tool for Construction and Design. In the videoprogram of CHI'98, pp. 177-178. (RealMedia G2, ACM SIGCHI Video Database)

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