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Improving digital handoff in shared tabletop workspaces

Liu Jun, David Pinelle, Carl Gutwin, Sriram Subramanian, Improving digital handoff in shared tabletop workspaces. International Workshop on Horizontal Interactive Human Computer Systems, 2008. TABLETOP 2008. ISBN 978-1-4244-2897-7, pp. 9–16. October 2008. No electronic version available.


Handoff of objects and tools occurs frequently and naturally in face-to-face work; in tabletop groupware, however, digital handoff is often awkward. In this paper, we investigate ways of improving support for digital handoff in tabletop systems. We first observed how handoff works at a physical table, and then compared the performance of tangible and standard transfer techniques on digital tables. Based on our observations, we developed a new technique called force-field handoff that allows objects to drift between pointers that are approaching one another. We tested force-field handoff in an experiment, and found that it is significantly faster than current digital handoff; no difference was found with tangible handoff. In addition, force-field handoff was preferred by the majority of participants.

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