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Bridging the Physical and Virtual Worlds by Local Connectivity-Based Physical Selection. By Surendra Mathe Jia Zheng. Introduction. Limitations of Mapping Physical and Virtual Worlds: Lack of support for natural user interaction with physical objects and virtual counterparts
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ex: Manual copy and paste of URLS,
Mapping problems ex Printers,
Environment Centric Intelligence
Experiments were done for finding out if it is possible touse the physical selection method with mobile devicesefficiently and with positive user experience compared to more conventional methods.
(1) physical selection of a website and
(2) a phone call by physical selection
The scenario involved
1. pointing the mobile device at the physical icon of the website of interest,
2. thus opening a wireless connection to the site and retrieving relevant information.
(1) the measurement of efficiency and
(2) study on the users’ experience
physical pointing method was compared to a standard method based on using the keys of the mobile phone for accessing the website.
The efficiency was measured by time; that is, wemeasured the time it took a test person to access thewebsite.
The user’s experience is more of a subjectivenature and it was studied by presenting the users with aquestionnaire including the following questions:
– Which of the methods was easier to use?– Why do you think physical pointing was easier/harderthan the conventional method?– Would you use pointing method if it were available inmobile phones?– For what kind of applications it can be used?
In this experimental scenario the user would evoke aphone call to a person by pressing one key and thenpointing the mobile phone at the tagged picture of thatother person.
-the difficulty or inability to remember phone numbers (in some cases phonebooks would be also difficult to use due to weakened ability to read),
-difficulty to dial with small keys and decreased mobility of fingers,
-and the perceived complexity of the UIs of the mobile phones, especially the digital phonebook.
The experimental set-up was very similar to that of the physical selection of a website.
-A Nokia 7650 mobile phone with IrDA capability and Symbian Series 60 operating system was used.
-On detection of an other IrDA transmitter, i.e. the tag, it asks the tag to pass an identification sequence.
-If the first word of the sequence is a reserved word for ‘evoke a call’, the program interprets the following data as a phone number and tries to place a call.
Efficiency in terms of execution time
The experiment showed that for some of the testsubjects manually browsing through a set of menusproved a difficult task resulting in very long completiontimes. On the other hand, completion times with thepointing method were roughly same for all test subjects.
When asked which of the methods was easier to use allof the test subjects stated that pointing was easier. Mostof the subjects wrote, that pointing was easier becauseone had fewer menus to browse through and one did nothave to write the URL address. One characteristic answerto the question why do you think physical pointingwas easier/harder than conventional method? Was…
“you didn’t have to write anything”. I think it was much simpler.To the question whether the test subjects woulduse pointing if it were available in mobile phones 11 outof 12 answered yes, while one was unsure.
In the interviews they stated that the method itself evoking the phone call by pointing was seen easy and understandable. They also said, that it is easier to identify whom they are callingfrom a tagged picture than just a written name.certain cases.