Spotlight: Directing Users’ Attention on Large Displays

Azam Khan, Justin MatejkaGeorge Fitzmaurice, Gord Kurtenbach

ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Spotlight: Directing Users’ Attention on Large Displays (2:48 min.)


We describe a new interaction technique, called a spotlight, for directing the visual attention of an audience when viewing data or presentations on large wall-sized displays. A spotlight is simply a region of the display where the contents are displayed normally while the remainder of the display is somewhat darkened. In this paper we define the behavior of spotlights, show unique affordances of the technique, and discuss design characteristics. We also report on experiments that show the benefit of using the spotlight a large display and standard desktop configuration. Our results suggest that the spotlight is preferred over the standard cursor and outperforms it by a factor of 3.4 on a wall-sized display.

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  • Large Displays

    Large wall-sized displays are becoming for affordable and widespread throughout the design, education, business, and entertainment industries. Such displays can be used for highly technical visualization work such as scientific visualization of a large data set, process control, or technical design. At Autodesk Research, we are investigating these types of applications and exploring design solutions to the unique interaction challenges which large wall-sized display configurations present.

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