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Giga Pixel Site
The GigaPixel Display Laboratory at Virginia Tech's Center for Human-Computer Interaction is a flexible facility supporting advanced research on future user interfaces and visualization. The facility integrates a diverse equipment including:
100-200 MegaPixels, growing towards a GigaPixel
Reconfigurable LCD and rear-projection display arrays
Specialized display systems such as IBM BigBertha and SmartBoard.
Diverse input devices and sensors, via integration with the AwareLab (e.g. Vicon, 6dof)
Computing clusters (Linux and Windows)
Key unique features of the facility are:
Very high resolutions
Rapidly reconfigurable design enables the displays to be transformed into many different form factors on demand
Multiple display and input device technologies, for empirical comparison
Scalability, by adding LCD tiles, stackable rear-projection blocks, or input sensors
The facility enables advanced research and applications of large-scale, high-resolution display and interaction:
Massive data visualization
Novel interaction techniques
Collaborative multi-user systems
Control room simulation
Paper: Beth Yost and Chris North. "The Perceptual Scalability of Visualization." Proceedings of IEEE Symposium on Information Visualization, (To appear) 2006.
Also appearing in IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Abstract: Larger, higher resolution displays can be used to increase the scalability of information visualizations. But just how much can scalability increase using larger displays before hitting human perceptual and/or cognitive limits? And are the same techniques that are good on a single monitor also the techniques that are best when they are scaled up using large, high-resolution displays? To answer these questions we performed a controlled experiment on user performance time, accuracy, and subjective workload when scaling up data quantity with different space-time-attribute visualizations using a large, tiled-display. Twelve college students used small multiples, embedded bar matrices, and embedded time-series graphs either on a 2Mpixel display or with data scaled up using a 32Mpixel tiled-display. Participants performed various overview and detail tasks on geospatially referenced multidimensional time-series data. Results showed that current designs are perceptually scalable because they result in a decrease in task completion time when normalized per attribute along with no decrease in accuracy. It also appears that for the visualizations selected for this study, the relative comparison between designs is generally consistent between display sizes. However, results also suggest that encoding is more important on a smaller display while spatial grouping is more important on a larger display. In addition to the results of the experiment, we provide some suggestions for designers based on our experience designing visualization for large displays.
Viewport Size and Form Factor (Curvature)
Paper: Shupp, L., et al. "Evaluation of Viewport Size and Curvature of Large, High-Resolution Displays." in Graphics Interface 2006. 2006. Québec City, Canada.
Abstract: Tiling multiple monitors to increase the amount of screen space has become an area of great interest to researchers. While previous research has shown user performance benefits when using two monitors next to each other, little research has analyzed whether very large high-resolution displays result in better user performance. We compared user performance time, accuracy, and mental workload on geospatial search, route tracing, and comparison tasks across one, twelve (4x3), and twenty-four (8x3) tiled monitor configurations. Additionally, we included display configurations that involved uniformly curving the twelve and twenty-four monitor displays. Generally, the larger the viewport size the faster users perform. We show that user frustration is significantly less in the twenty-four monitor condition than the one monitor condition. We also show that curving displays increases user performance.
Presentation: Graphics Interface 2006
Paper: Sabri, A., Ball, R., Bhatia, S., Fabian, A., and North, C. "High-Resolution Gaming: Interfaces, Notifications and the User Experience." Interacting with Computers Journal. (To appear) 2006.
Abstract: Advances in technology and display hardware have allowed the resolution of monitors�and video games�to incrementally improve over the past three decades. However, little research has been done in preparation for the resolutions that will be available in the future if this trend continues. We developed a number of display prototypes to explore the different aspects of gaming on large, high-resolution displays. By running a series of experiments, we were not only able to evaluate the benefits of these displays for gaming, but also identify potential user interface and hardware issues that can arise. Building on these results, various interface design solutions were developed to better notify the user of passive and critical game information as well as to overcome difficulties with mouse-based interaction on these displays. Different display form factors and user input devices are also explored in order to determine how they can further enhance the gaming experience. In many cases, the new techniques developed can be applied to single-monitor games as well as solve the same problems in other real-world high-resolution applications.
Video: Quake on curved 24-monitor display using gyro mouse: MPG4 or WMV
Size & Resolution
Paper: Ni, T., Bowman, D., and Chen, J. "Increased Display Size and Resolution Improve Task Performance in Information-Rich Virtual Environments." in Graphics Interface 2006. 2006. Québec City, Canada.
Abstract: Physically large-size high-resolution displays have been widely applied in various fields. There is a lack of research, however, that demonstrates empirically how users benefit from the increased size and resolution afforded by emerging technologies. We designed a controlled experiment to evaluate the individual and combined effects of display size and resolution on task performance in an Information-Rich Virtual Environment (IRVE). We also explored how a wayfinding aid would facilitate spatial information acquisition and mental map construction when users
worked with various displays. We found that users were most effective at performing IRVE search and comparison tasks on large high-resolution displays. In addition, users working with large displays became less reliant on wayfinding aids to form spatial knowledge. We discuss the impact of these results on the design and presentation of IRVEs, the choice of displays for particular applications, and future work to extend our findings.
Paper: Tao Ni and Doug Bowman. "Design Effective Interaction with Large High-Resolution Displays." IEEE Visualization 2005 workshop on using large high-resolution displays for Information Visualization. October 2005. Minneapolis, MN.
Introduction: With recent advances in technology, large high-resolution displays are becoming prevalent in scientific visualization, automotive design, creativity and innovation, and collaborative work. A common configuration is to couple many commercially available projectors and PCs in a projector array to produce a tiled seamless high quality display landscape.
Large high-resolution displays do not restrict designs to traditional desktop displays, creating new opportunities for various research communities. However, we cannot fully exploit the benefits of large high-resolution displays by merely presenting a huge amount of information. Rather, we should develop usable and useful input devices and interaction techniques that accommodate distinct characteristics afforded by such emerging technologies. Large high-resolution displays presents a number of interaction challenges not well addressed by traditional input devices (represented by keyboard and mouse) and graphical user interface metaphors (represented by WIMP)...
Paper: Tao Ni, Greg S. Schmidt, Oliver G. Staadt, Mark A. Livingston, Robert Ball, Richard May. "A Survey of Large High-Resolution Display Technologies, Techniques, and Applications." In Proceedings of IEEE Virtual Reality Conference. March 2006. Alexandria, VA.
Abstract: Continued advances in display hardware, computing power, networking, and rendering algorithms have all converged to dramatically improve large high-resolution display capabilities. We present a survey on prior research with large high-resolution displays. In the hardware configurations section we examine systems including multi-monitor workstations, recon gurable projector arrays, and others. Rendering and the data pipeline are addressed with an overview of current technologies. We discuss many applications for large high-resolution displays such as automotive design, scientific visualization, control centers, and others. Quantifying the effects of large high-resolution displays on human performance and other aspects is important as we look toward future advances in display technology and how it is applied in different situations. Interacting with these displays brings a different set of challenges for HCI professionals, so an overview of some of this work is provided. Finally, we present our view of the top ten greatest challenges in large high-resolution displays.
Mouse Size & Navigation
Paper: Robert Ball, Michael Szwedo, and Chris North. "Dynamic Size and Speed Cursor for Large, High-Resolution Displays." Technical Report TR-06-16, Computer Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Abstract: As larger displays become more available their lack of adequate input techniques become apparent. In this paper we show the scalability of the dynamic size and speed cursor for large, high-resolution displays. We introduce the idea of a dynamic paradigm for input devices, explain three implementations of the dynamic size and speed (DSS) cursor and explain results of an experiment. In our experiment we compared the three different implementations of the dynamic size and speed cursor to cursor warping and standard cursor settings. In the experiment we found gender bias for two different tasks (clicking and simple drag and drop), found that one of the dynamic size and speed cursor implementations generally outperformed cursor warping and the standard cursor setting, and explain how distance to and size of targets effected results. We conclude by suggesting the use of a dynamic size and speed cursor with large, high-resolution displays.
Information Rich Virtual Environments
Paper: Polys, Nicholas F., Kim, S., Bowman, D.A. "Human performance in virtual spaces: Effects of information layout, screen size, and field of view on user performance in information-rich virtual environments" Proceedings of the ACM symposium on Virtual reality software and technology VRST '05. Monterey, CA: ACM SIGGRAPH. 2005.
Abstract: This paper describes our recent experimental evaluation of Information-Rich Virtual Environment (IRVE) interfaces. To explore the depth cue/visibility tradeoff between annotation schemes, we design and evaluate two information layout techniques to support search and comparison tasks. The techniques provide different depth and association cues between objects and their labels: labels were displayed either in the virtual world relative to their referent (Object Space) or on an image plane workspace (Viewport Space). The Software Field of View (SFOV) was controlled to 60 or 100 degrees of vertical angle and two groups were tested: those running on a single monitor and those on a tiled nine-panel display. Users were timed, tracked for correctness, and gave ratings for both difficulty and satisfaction on each task. Significant advantages were found for the Viewport interface, and for high SFOV. The interactions between these variables suggest special design considerations to effectively support search and comparison performance across monitor configurations and projection distortions.