Laboratoire d'Informatique de Grenoble Équipe Ingénierie de l'Interaction Humain-Machine

Équipe Ingénierie de l'Interaction

Pseudo-Weight: Making Tabletop Interaction with Virtual Objects More Tangible

In Proceedings of the 2012 ACM international conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces (ITS 2012). pages 201-204. 2012.

Chantal Keller, Jérémy Bluteau, Renaud Blanch, Sabine Coquillart


In this paper we show that virtual objects manipulated on a tabletop interaction device can be augmented to provide the illusion they have a weight. This weight offers a supplemental channel to provide information about graphical objects without cluttering the visual display. To create such a pseudo-weight illusion on a passive device, the pressure applied with the fingers during the interaction has to be captured. We show that this pressure can be estimated without hardware modification on some touch sensitive tabletop setups (e.g., MERL's DiamondTouch).

Two controlled experiments show that pseudo-weight is perceived effectively. The first one demonstrates that users, without training and without previous knowledge of the system, can accurately rank virtual objects according to their pseudo-weights, provided they are sufficiently distinct. The second controlled experiment investigates more formally the relation between the pseudo-weight and the actual perception of the users.