Collaboration on Interactive Surfaces with Personal In- and Output

Interactive tables are well suited for co-located collaboration. Most prior research assumed users to share the same overall display output; a key challenge was the appropriate partitioning of screen real estate, assembling the right information “at the users’ finger-tips” through simultaneous input. A different approach is followed in recent multi-view display environments: they offer personal output for each team member, yet risk to dissolve the team due to the lack of a common visual focus. Our approach combines both lines of thought, guided by the question: “What if the visible output and simultaneous input was partly shared and partly private?” We present Permulin as a concrete corresponding implementation, based on a set of novel interaction concepts that support fluid transitions between individual and group activities, coordination of group activities, and concurrent, distraction-free in-place manipulation. Study results indicate that users are able to focus on individual work on the whole surface without notable mutual interference, while at the same time establishing a strong sense of collaboration.

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