Monday, November 3, 2008

The Conductor Interaction Method (Rachovides et al)

Interesting concept combining gaze input with hand gestures by Dorothy Rachovides at the Digital World Research Centre together with James Walkerdine and Peter Phillips at the Computing Department Lancaster University.

"This article proposes an alternative interaction method, the conductor interaction method (CIM), which aims to provide a more natural and easier-to-learn interaction technique. This novel interaction method extends existing HCI methods by drawing upon techniques found in human-human interaction. It is argued that the use of a two-phased multimodal interaction mechanism, using gaze for selection and gesture for manipulation, incorporated within a metaphor-based environment, can provide a viable alternative for interacting with a computer (especially for novice users). Both the model and an implementation of the CIM within a system are presented in this article. This system formed the basis of a number of user studies that have been performed to assess the effectiveness of the CIM, the findings of which are discussed in this work.

More specifically the CIM aims to provide the following.

—A More Natural Interface. The CIM will have an interface that utilizes gaze and gestures, but is nevertheless capable of supporting sophisticated activities. The CIM provides an interaction technique that is as natural as possible and is close to the human-human interaction methods with which users are already familiar. The combination of gaze and gestures allows the user to perform not only simple interactions with a computer, but also more complex interacones such as the selecting, editing, and placing of media objects.

—A Metaphor Supported Interface. In order to help the user understand and exploit the gaze and gesture interface, two metaphors have been developed. An orchestra metaphor is used to provide the environment in which the user interacts. A conductor metaphor is used for interacting within this environment. These two metaphors are discussed next.

—A Two-Phased Interaction Method. The CIM uses an interaction process where each modality is specific and has a particular function. The interaction between user and interface can be seen as a dialog that is comprised of two phases. In the first phase, the user selects the on-screen object by gazing at it. In the second phase, with the gesture interface the user is able to manipulate the selected object. These distinct functions of gaze and gesture aim to increase system usability, as they are based on human-human interaction techniques, and also help to overcome issues such as the Midas Touch problem that often experienced by look-and-dwell systems. As the dialog combines two modalities in sequence, the gaze interface can be disabled after the first phase. This minimizes the possibility of accidentally selecting objects through the gaze interface. The Midas Touch problem can also be further addressed by ensuring that there is ample dead space between media objects.

—Significantly Reduced Learning Overhead. The CIM aims to reduce the overhead of learning to use the system by encouraging the use of gestures that users can easily associate with activities they perform in their everyday life. This transfer of experience can lead to a smaller learning overhead [Borchers 1997], allowing users to make the most of the system’s features in a shorter time.

1 comment:

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