Steerable Interfaces for Interactive Environments

Stanislaw Borkowski 1
1 PRIMA - Perception, recognition and integration for observation of activity
GRAVIR - IMAG - Graphisme, Vision et Robotique, Inria Grenoble - Rhône-Alpes
Abstract : Mobility is a fundamental feature of modern information technology. However, currently mobility is usually related to either data or to portable computing devices. Alternatively, mobility may refer to the perceptible boundary of the computer system, i.e. to the interface.
In this thesis, we investigate the use of a new class of interfaces that have the ability to be moved within the environment: steerable interfaces. We address the issue of rendering interfaces steerable, explore their potential applications and evaluate the impact of interface steerability in the context of colocated collaborative work.
A Steerable Camera-Projector pair, built for this study, allows us to display digital images on almost any surface in our laboratory. However, projecting on surfaces at arbitrary angles may distort the image. We propose two methods for dynamic image rectification; (a) based on detection of screen boundaries, and (b) based on a pinhole
projector model and the relative orientation of the projector and the display surface. We use the screen boundaries detection algorithm to create a lightweight Portable Display Surface out of a handheld piece of cardboard. We use computer vision to render projected images interactive. Indeed, the view of the camera mounted on the computer controlled video projector overlaps with the projection cone. The camera can be used to detect user actions over the displayed images. However, light emitted by the video projector and the mobility of our interfaces result in challenging conditions for conventional computer vision algorithms. We propose a computer vision based implementation of basic interactive widgets that is robust to changes in lighting conditions.
To develop our projection-based interactive system we adopt a Service Oriented Architecture. We propose a set of software services that are necessary to develop applications with steerable interfaces. To ensure the quality of our system, we evaluate these services with respect to user-centered usability criteria.
The Steerable Camera-Projector together with the Portable Display Surface allows us to experiment with projection-based mobile interfaces, both portable and steerable. We propose a number of interaction techniques for controlling the location of a steerable interface, and analyze them using an adaptation of the “coupling” model. To evaluate interface steerability as a new form of interaction with computers, we perform a user study comparing immobile, portable and steerable interfaces in the context of colocated collaborative work. The results of the study show that users enjoy working with both portable and steerable interfaces. These results should motivate further research on steerable interfaces.
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Submitted on : Sunday, July 9, 2006 - 12:29:45 PM
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Stanislaw Borkowski. Steerable Interfaces for Interactive Environments. Human-Computer Interaction [cs.HC]. Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble - INPG, 2006. English. ⟨tel-00084658⟩

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