Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

2D sketch editor/gesture recogniser

CAD systems have yet to become usable at the early stages of product ideation, where precise shape definitions and sometimes even design intentions are not fully developed.

To overcome these limitations, new approaches, which were called Calligraphic Interfaces, use sketching as the main organizing paradigm. Such applications rely on continuous input modalities rather than on discrete interactions characteristic of WIMP interfaces.

However, replacing direct manipulation by sketching alone poses very interesting challenges. While the temptation to follow the paper-and-pencil metaphor is great, free-hand sketch recognition remains an elusive goal.

Further, using gestures to enter commands and sketches to draw shapes requires users to learn a command set - sketches do not enjoy the self-disclosing characteristics of menus. Moreover, the imprecise nature of interactions presents additional problems that are difficult to address using present-day techniques.

We approach the three problems outlined above through a combination of different paradigms: First, a calligraphic sketching metaphor provides for a paper-like interaction.

Second, dynamic menus - expectation lists - handle ambiguity and try to expose the state of the application without interfering with the task.

Third, an incremental drawing paradigm allows precise drawings to be progressively constructed from sketches through simple constraint satisfaction.

Finally, reducing instruction set and command usage allow for a simple and learnable approach in contrast with the complexity of present-day interactive systems.

Our prototype - GIDeS - embodies these approaches and usability testing carried so far yielded very encouraging results.

Reported by

Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto
R. Dr. Roberto Frias
4200-465 Porto
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