2,124 research outputs found

    The orienting mouse: An input device with attitude

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    This paper presents a modified computer mouse, the Orienting Mouse, which delivers orientation as an additional dimension of input; when the mouse is moved on a flat surface it reports, in addition to the conventional x, y translation, angular rotation of the device in the x, y plane. The orienting mouse preserves important properties of the standard mouse; all measurements are relative and movement is tracked only while the mouse is on its flat surface. If the user lets go of the mouse, leaving it on the surface, its position and orientation do not change until it is touched again. Picking the mouse up and putting it down in a different orientation leaves the angle and position unchanged. While the concept of sensing mouse rotation is not new, our work focuses on movement and navigation in 3D, rather than on precision positioning tasks. We describe a number of sample applications developed to test its effectiveness in this context. Specific features exploited and described include (i) an algorithm for calculating the mouse angle which cancels drift between the two sensors, and (ii) the use of angular gearing which avoids unnatural and uncomfortable hand positions when moving through large angles; informal user testing validates this idea

    Supporting collaboration and engagement using a whiteboard-like display

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    Large interactive display surfaces have the potential to combine the simplicity, spontaneity and presence of a conventional whiteboard with the convenience, clarity, and archiving and retrieval capabilities of a computer display. Recent developments in display projection and large surface digitising have brought the cost of such displays to a level where they can be utilised to support a range of everyday activities. This paper describes the LIDS (Large Interactive Display Surfaces) project, recently commenced at the University of Waikato. LIDS focuses on the use of low-cost whiteboard-like shared interactive displays, and is exploring whiteboard metaphors and lightweight interaction techniques to support group collaboration and engagement. Three closely related application areas are being studied: (i) support for single and multiple site meetings and informal discussions, (ii) the use of such displays in teaching, and (iii) their use in personal information management

    Using gaming paratexts in the literacy classroom

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    This paper illustrates how digital game paratexts may effectively be used in the high school English to meet a variety of traditional and multimodal literacy outcomes. Paratexts are texts that refer to digital gaming and game cultures, and using them in the classroom enables practitioners to focus on and valorise the considerable literacies and skills that young people develop and deploy in their engagement with digital gaming and game cultures. The effectiveness of valorizing paratexts in this manner is demonstrated through two examples of assessment by students in classes where teachers had designed curriculum and assessment activities using paratexts

    Why aren't we all living in Smart Homes

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    Visions of the Future, like the Jetsons cartoons, show homes which are smart and able to control household appliances, to make living easier and more comfortable. Although much research has been carried out into the effectiveness of different visualisation techniques for conveying useful energy consumption information to householders, and in techniques for controlling the timing and coordination of appliance use, these techniques have failed to achieve widespread penetration, and the vision still seems far from a reality. This paper examines the reasons why smart home technologies have so far failed to have any real impact, which is intricately intertwined with the design of visualisations in this context, and why we are not already living in Smart Homes. It examines these questions under four sections: Technology, Consumers, Electricity retailers and Government agencies, using examples from New Zealand’s electricity sector

    Casual mobile screen sharing

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    The concept of casual screen sharing is that multiple users can cast screen images from their personal hand-held devices on to a large shared local screen. It has applications in personal and business domains where documents or images need to be discussed in a shared environment. The ‘casual’ qualifier implies that the overheads of this sharing should be minimal. Implementation of casual screen sharing poses two general problems: sending content from multiple devices with minimal or no authentication/authorisation, and displaying this content on the larger screen. This paper proposes a solution and describes the development of a prototype, CasualShare

    Tracking battery state-of-charge in a continuous use off-grid electricity system

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    The growing importance of batteries in the delivery of primary energy, for example in electric vehicles and isolated off-grid electricity systems, has added weight to the demand for simple and reliable measures of a battery’s remaining stored energy at any time. Many approaches to estimating this battery state-of-charge exist, ranging from those based on a full appreciation of the chemistry and physics of the storage and delivery mechanisms used, and requiring extensive data on which to base an estimate, to the naïve and simple, based only, for example, on the terminal voltage of the battery. None, however, is perfect, and able to deliver a simple percentage-full figure, as in a fuel gauge. The shortcomings are due to a range of complicating factors, including the impact of rate of charge, rate of discharge, battery aging, and temperature, to name just some of these. This paper presents a simple yet effective method for tracking state-of-charge in an off-grid electricity system, where batteries are in continuous use, preventing static parameter measurements, and where charge/discharge cycles do not necessarily follow an orderly sequence or pattern. A reliable indication of state-of-charge is, however, highly desirable, but need be only of fuel gauge precision, say to the nearest 12-20%. The algorithm described utilises knowledge of the past, and constantly adapts parameters such as charge efficiency and total charge capacity based on this knowledge, and on the occurrence of specific identifiable events such as zero or full charge

    Power and energy visualization for the micro-management of household electricity consumption

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    The paper describes a pilot system for the detailed management of domestic electricity consumption aimed at minimizing demand peaks and consumer cost. Management decisions are made both interactively by consumers themselves, and where practical, automatically by computer. These decisions are based on realtime pricing and availability information, as well as current and historic usage data. The benefits of the energy strategies implied by such a system are elaborated, showing the potential for significant peak demand reduction and slowing of the need for growth in generation capacity. An overview is provided of the component technologies and interaction methods we have designed, but the paper focuses on the communication of real-time information to the consumer through a combination of specific and ambient visualizations. There is a need for both overview information (eg how much power is being used right now; how much energy have we used so far today; what does it cost?) and information at the point-of-use (is it OK to turn this dryer on now, or should I wait until later?). To assist the design of these visualizations, a survey is underway aimed at establishing people's understanding of power and energy concepts
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