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Ether-Toolbars: Evaluating Off-Screen Toolbars for Mobile Interaction


In mobile touchscreebn interaction, an important challenge is to find solutions to balance the size of individual widgets against the number of widgets needed during interaction. In this work, to address display space limitations, we explore the design of invisible off-screen toolbars (ether-toolbars) that leverage computer vision to expand application features by placing widgets adjacent to the display screen. We show how simple computer vision algorithms can be combined with a natural human ability to estimate physical placing to support highly accurate targeting. Our ether-toolbar design promises targeting accuracy approximating on-screen widget accuracy while significantly expanding the interaction space of mobile devices. Through two experiments, we examine off-screen content placement metaphors and off-screen precision of participants accessing these toolbars. From the data of the second experiment, we provide a basic model that reflects how users perceive mobile surroundings for ether-widgets and validate it. We also demonstrate a prototype system consisting of an inexpensive 3D printed mount for a mirror that supports ether-toolbar implementations. Finally, we discuss the implications of our work and potential design extensions that can increase the usability and the utility of ether-toolbars.
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Dates and versions

hal-01683967 , version 1 (02-03-2018)



Hanaë Rateau, Yosra Rekik, Edward Lank, Laurent Grisoni. Ether-Toolbars: Evaluating Off-Screen Toolbars for Mobile Interaction. IUI 2018 - 23rd International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, Mar 2018, Tokyo, Japan. ⟨10.1145/3172944.3172978⟩. ⟨hal-01683967⟩
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