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Nicolas Burtnyk, Azam Khan, George Fitzmaurice, Ravin Balakrishnan, Gord Kurtenbach
ACM Symposium on User Interface Software & Technology
StyleCam: Interactive Stylized 3D Navigation using Integrated Spatial & Temporal Controls (3:57 min.)
Video title (x:xx min.)
"We describe a new type of graphical user interface widget, known as a “tracking menu.” A tracking menu consists of a cluster of graphical buttons, and as with traditional menus, the cursor can be moved within the menu to select and interact with items. However, unlike traditional menus, when the cursor hits the edge of the menu, the menu moves to continue tracking the cursor. Thus, the menu always stays under the cursor and close at hand.
In this paper we define the behavior of tracking menus, show unique affordances of the widget, present a variety of examples, and discuss design characteristics. We examine one tracking menu design in detail, reporting on usability studies and our experience integrating the technique into a commercial application for the Tablet PC. While user interface issues on the Tablet PC, such as preventing round trips to tool palettes with the pen, inspired tracking menus, the design also works well with a standard mouse and keyboard configuration."
While advances in computing have empowered users to design and interact with objects in virtual three-dimensional space, little effort has been made to improve or facilitate interaction with the viewpoint. Once we begin to consider this problem, we find that it effectively spans a huge problem domain with many special cases. It touches on many of the fundamental difficulties in 3D interaction: being inside an object vs. being outside, how close is the viewpoint to the object, what is the user looking at and/or is interested in, egocentric vs. exocentric thinking, parallel vs. perspective viewing projections, multiscale and level-of-detail issues, what kind of data is being examined (abstract, incomplete, photoreal, engineering, CAD, entertainment, medical, simulation, etc.), and what is the user task (authoring, inspecting, etc.). Additional technical issues include correct handling of the clipping planes and floating-point precision problems. To help understand and address some of these issues, we have an ongoing research program to improve the state-of-the-art in 3D navigation.