Pointable: An In-Air Pointing Technique to Manipulate Out-of-Reach Targets on Tabletops

Amartya Banerjee, Jesse Burstyn, Audrey Girouard, Roel Vertegaal

Selecting and moving digital content on interactive tabletops often involves accessing the workspace beyond arm's reach. We present Pointable, an in-air, bimanual perspective-based interaction technique that augments touch input on a tabletop for distant content. With Pointable, the dominant hand selects remote targets, while the non-dominant hand can scale and rotate targets with a dynamic C/D gain. We conducted 3 experiments; the first showed that pointing at a distance using Pointable has a Fitts' law throughput comparable to that of a mouse. In the second experiment, we found that Pointable had the same performance as multi-touch input in a resize, rotate and drag task. In a third study, we observed that when given the choice, over 75% of participants preferred to use Pointable over multi-touch for target manipulation. In general, Pointable allows users to manipulate out-of-reach targets, without loss of performance, while minimizing the need to lean, stand up, or involve collocated collaborators.

In Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces (ITS '11).