Gianluca Schiavo



Supervisor: Luciano Gamberini

Graduate student: Gianluca Schiavo

Multitouch interactive tabletops are one of the most innovative and promising techno-logy. These systems are a combination of software and hardware that integrate compu-ter technology into a table and allows one or multiple users to manipulate digital content by the use of natural hand gesture on a surface interactive display. Multitouch interacti-ve surfaces, just a traditional table, provide a flexible workspace for a multitude of activi-ties, allowing people to work in collaboration. With the collaboration of MultiTouch Ltd (finnish manufacturer of table- and wall-sized multitouch displays) and the HIIT (Helsinki Institute for Information Technology) we conducted an usability study to investigate the implementation of a new interactive gesture that permit to orient items (documents or images) toward the user position automatically. In order to evaluate the usability of such automatic rotation, we verified its appropriate-ness depending on the intent of the manipulator and the level of collaboration required to the task. For loosely coupled tasks, our study demonstrates that the automatic rotation condition is comparable to the manual rotation: time performance and rate of touches are similar between the conditions with and without the automatic rotations.

 Questionnaire data in-dicate that users prefer to use automatic rotations gesture during loosely coupled task even if the gesture required some training in order to use it effectively. Automatically o-rientating information allows ease of reading and speed of interaction, especially during loosely coupling work, but it limits the use of orientation as a collaborative and commu-nicative tool. In fact, the study suggest that the automatic rotation technique is not suita-ble for tightly collaborative work. The results show that automatic rotations lead to worse performance and increase completion time compared to the tightly coupled task without automatic rotations. In addition, questionnaire data indicate lower users’ ratings compa-red to the other conditions. Video analysis shows that in a collaborative setting, an au-tomatic straight-on orientation aligned with the user’s arm is not always desired and it can hinder the interaction. The study contribute to the future development and asses-sment of this new automatic rotation gesture.

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