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3D interaction between mouse, mouse pointer and objects visible on the screen

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000015662D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Aug-25
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Document File: 5 page(s) / 88K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

This publication proposes a mechanism to exploit all 3 dimensions, each in two directions when working with the mouse.

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3D interaction between mouse, mouse pointer and objects visible on the screen

This publication proposes a mechanism to exploit all 3 dimensions, each in two directions when working with the mouse.

Introduction

    In current user interfaces, mouse movement is done in two dimensions only; more concrete, the 2D movement on the table (x-axis and y-axis) is usually translated to a 2D movement of some corresponding object (e.g. mouse pointer) on the screen. Here, both dimensions are exploited in two directions each: increase x-axis and decrease x-axis, increase y-axis and decrease y-axis. When a user has seen this principle once, this concept of translating mouse movement to object movement on the screen is conceptually easy to understand, to memorize, and to use.

    In addition, the concept of movement along the 3rd dimension (z-axis) is as well widely used, but only in one direction: pressing the mouse or a part of the mouse (i.e. button) towards the table is usually translated to an interaction, in the most simple case, pushing the mouse or a part of the mouse is translated to pushing a virtual object (push button) virtually into the screen. This concept is as well easy to understand, to memorize, and to use. In the following, this direction is called "z-in interaction".

    However, the concept of "pulling" the mouse along the z-axis is usually not exploited. In the following, this concept is called "z-out interaction".

    This publication is proposing to exploit the inverse direction of the z-axis "z-out (pull)" in addition to the already used concept "z-in (push)", to allow an additional, conceptually easy user interaction.

  This goal can be reached in one of two ways: just by special software behaviour


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by modified hardware and software.

    In the following, we concentrate on alternative 1, which does not require hardware modifications.

Implementation by software

    The principle can be implemented as software without hardware modifications. Here, the z-in interaction is realized by pressing a mouse button (left button for left-hand use) in a specific context, and the z-out interaction is realized by releasing the mouse button in a specific context.

    Since a full cycle of an interaction is 1. Button-press 2. Button-release for both z-in and z-out, there is new ambiguity inherent in this principle: without context, it is not clear whether the Button-press or the Button-release event is supposed to trigger the interaction. But by modeling appropriate software behaviour, this ambiguity can be eliminated. And since the z-in interaction is already well established, it is sufficient to have special context only for the z-out interaction.

Where may the z-out (pull) operation be especially easy to understand?

Intuitively, the direction "out-of-the screen" which may easily be translated with a

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z-out operation of the mouse, may be used for several operations: open a view on an object (for example, opening a mail);

de-iconize an i...