Absolute vs. Relative Direct Pen Input

    •  Clifton Forlines, Daniel Vogel, Nicholas Kong, Ravin Balakrishnan, "Absolute vs. Relative Direct Pen Input", Tech. Rep. TR2006-066, Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories, Cambridge, MA, June 2006.
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      • @techreport{MERL_TR2006-066,
      • author = {Clifton Forlines and Daniel Vogel and Nicholas Kong and Ravin Balakrishnan},
      • title = {Absolute vs. Relative Direct Pen Input},
      • institution = {MERL - Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories},
      • address = {Cambridge, MA 02139},
      • number = {TR2006-066},
      • month = jun,
      • year = 2006,
      • url = {}
      • }

We present the findings from two experiments designed to explore the effect of absolute vs. relative direct pen interaction on both small and large scale displays where the input and display spaces are co-incident. An absolute mapping - where there is a one-to-tone correspondence between the pen and cursor positions - was found to be superior to a relative mapping - where the pen and cursor positions can be offset with a variable mapping - for all distances on the small screen of a Tablet PC; however, on a large wall-sized display, the relative mapping outperformed the absolute mapping in situations requiring cursor movement over large distances. Our findings can inform the design of pen interfaces, in particular for large scale displays.