As tabletops and other surface computing appliances become increasingly available, there will be a large number of available applications for use on them, reflecting the many user activities that can be particularly well supported by such collaborative devices. This will create the need for tabletops to provide at least some of the most fundamental of the core facilities for general computing. At the most basic, users need to have interface elements for starting a new application, changing the files used in the current application, and altering application settings. We are beginning to see mechanisms for changing applications. However, there has been little research exploring the relevant interface elements and support for core facilities for general computing at tabletops. The particular affordances and limitations of tabletops call for a rethink of the interfaces for these actions.
Switch is a tabletop interface for these core functions of application and configuration switching at an interactive tabletop. It is implemented for the Cruiser framework, enabling application and configuration switching for the many applications developed for that platform.
The key contributions of the Switch project are the exploration of user interface support for a set of the most fundamental core facilities for general computing at tabletops, our use of these to design the Switch interface tool and a usability evaluation of Switch, providing a foundation for the design of the core user interface elements that will enable people to make flexible use of tabletops.
A. Collins, C. J. Ackad, T. Apted, P. Sztajer, P. Ward, H. Weng, and J. Kay. Core functionality and new applications for tabletops and interactive surfaces. In UbiComp '11, 13th international conference on Ubiquitous computing, pages 607-608, New York, NY, USA, 2011. ACM Press. [View Details]
C. J. Ackad, A. Collins, and J. Kay. Switch: Exploring the design of application and configuration switching at tabletops. In Proceedings of ITS '10: the ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces, pages 95-104, New York, NY, USA, 2010. ACM Press. [View Details]
C. J. Ackad, A. Collins, and J. Kay. Switch: Exploring the design of application and configuration switching at tabletops. Technical Report 654, School of Information Technologies, University of Sydney, 2010. [View Details]
C. J. Ackad, A. Collins, and J. Kay. Moving beyond the tabletop as an appliance. In Adjunct Proceedings of ITS '09, the ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces, 2009. [View Details]