TR2006-090

HybridPointing: Fluid Switching Between Absolute and Relative Pointing with a Direct Input Device


    •  Forlines, C.; Vogel, D.; Balakrishnan, R., "HybridPointing: Fluid Switching between Absolute and Relative Pointing with a Direct Input Device", ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST), ISBN: 1-59593-313-1, October 2006, pp. 211-220.
      BibTeX Download PDF
      • @inproceedings{Forlines2006oct2,
      • author = {Forlines, C. and Vogel, D. and Balakrishnan, R.},
      • title = {HybridPointing: Fluid Switching between Absolute and Relative Pointing with a Direct Input Device},
      • booktitle = {ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST)},
      • year = 2006,
      • pages = {211--220},
      • month = oct,
      • isbn = {1-59593-313-1},
      • url = {http://www.merl.com/publications/TR2006-090}
      • }
  • Research Area:

    Human-Computer Interaction


We present HybridPointing, a technique that lets users easily switch between absolute and relative pointing with a direct input device such as a pen. Our design includes a new graphical element, the Trailing Widget, which remains "close at hand" but does not interfere with normal cursor operation. The use of visual feedback to aid the user's understanding of input state is discussed, and several novel visual aids are presented. An experiment conducted on a large, wall-sized display validates the benefits of HybridPointing under certain conditions. We also discuss other situations in which HybridPointing may be useful. Finally, we present an extension to our technique that allows for switching between absolute and relative input in the middle of a single drag-operation.