Shared Displays and Cursor Control

2 Sep 2004 - 11:16am
10 years ago
8 replies
823 reads
Gerard Torenvliet
2004

Hi,

I'm currently in the early stages of designing a system where two operators share up to five screens. In this five-screen scenario, the operator on the left has access to the left-most *four* screens, and the operator on the right has access to the right-most *four* screens. (In other words, the left-most display is dedicated to the left-most operator and the right-most display is dedicated to the right-most operator.)

I'm looking for ideas (no matter how hare-brained; consider this a brain-storming exercise) on how to:

a. Allow each operator to select the screen that they are going to work on.

b. Indicate to both operators the screen that each one of them is currently working on.

c. Manage cursor conflicts (i.e., both operators have their cursor on the same screen; and one or both might want to do some work on that screen; how do you manage who gets to do their work in the most non-destructive way).

The world is your canvas; feel free to recommend both hardware and software solutions here. (Neural and olfactory interfaces are probably out, though.)

I look foward to your ideas!

-Gerard

:: Gerard Torenvliet / gerard.torenvliet at cmcelectronics.ca
:: Human Factors Engineering Design Specialist
:: CMC Electronics Inc.
::
:: Ph - 613 592 7400 x 2613
:: Fx - 613 592 7432
::
:: 415 Legget Drive, P.O. Box 13330
:: Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA, K2K 2B2
:: http://www.cmcelectronics.ca

Comments

2 Sep 2004 - 11:27am
Mike Beltzner
2004

Torenvliet, Gerard wrote:

> I look foward to your ideas!

Before I get my brainstorm cap on, can I ask one question? The users
have access to the screens - are the tasks they must undertake all point
and click, or is text-input required? Just trying to figure out how many
of the users' hands I have to play with :)

cheers,
mike

2 Sep 2004 - 12:06pm
Gerard Torenvliet
2004

> Before I get my brainstorm cap on, can I ask one question? The users
> have access to the screens - are the tasks they must undertake all point
> and click, or is text-input required? Just trying to figure out how many
> of the users' hands I have to play with :)

Sorry, I should have addressed those constraints:

- the displays are not necessarily within reach
- 2D selection and typing are necessary interactions

Typing is a required, but is a low-priority task. A keyboard is available, but it will most likely be used with the same hand that controls the cursor, and all input will be one-handed. (In the end, the cursor conflict issue is my current problem; we have some ideas on text input that we want to merge with an appropriate cursor-control/conflict resolution paradigm.)

-Gerard

:: Gerard Torenvliet / gerard.torenvliet at cmcelectronics.ca
:: Human Factors Engineering Design Specialist
:: CMC Electronics Inc.
::
:: Ph - 613 592 7400 x 2613
:: Fx - 613 592 7432
::
:: 415 Legget Drive, P.O. Box 13330
:: Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA, K2K 2B2
:: http://www.cmcelectronics.ca

2 Sep 2004 - 12:47pm
Greg Petroff
2004

A couple of more questions. Is the application environment running on a
single pc with multiple video cards driving multiple monitors or does the
solution have several pc's running instances of an the same application and
you need some way to hand off between them?

Greg

Gregory Petroff
desk 212 383 4092
mobile 646 387 2841

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2 Sep 2004 - 12:50pm
Michael Bartlett
2004

They could have something like this (see below) floating on their dedicated
machine. I assumed that it's just 3 common screens they control, I haven't
missed something obvious have I?

So this image is what the control looks like normally - faded out a little
to not be too obtrusive.
http://www.hipgeeks.net/stuff/5_screens/transparant_control.jpg

When they put their mouse into the control, it comes to focus (100%
opacity). You will notice the middle control has a red border around it,
that is to indicate that the other operator is using this particular screen.
http://www.hipgeeks.net/stuff/5_screens/control_mouse-over_(active)_mode.jpg

Interactions:
* click on an "inactive" screen and you will take control of that mouse
* the box around that screen will indicate with a green border
* the box on the other controller's screen will then go red

* click on a "red border" screen (ie. a screen you do not have control of)
* the control should then come slightly into focus on the OTHER
operater's screen, maybe not all the way to 100% opacity, but some visual
cue. also the green border around the other operater's screen should start
to flash indicating to him that you wish to get control of that screen.
* you may wish to have an activity timeout here to deal with the
case when an operator has control of a screen and then goes out to lunch

* click on a "green border screen"
* you lose control of that screen and it returns to the "inactive"
state on both controls

-----Original Message-----
From:
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[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.
com] On Behalf Of Torenvliet, Gerard
Sent: 02 September 2004 17:16
To: discuss-interactiondesigners.com at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: [ID Discuss] Shared Displays and Cursor Control

[For those using lower bandwidth, or the DIGEST version of this list; the
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Hi,

I'm currently in the early stages of designing a system where two operators
share up to five screens. In this five-screen scenario, the operator on the
left has access to the left-most *four* screens, and the operator on the
right has access to the right-most *four* screens. (In other words, the
left-most display is dedicated to the left-most operator and the right-most
display is dedicated to the right-most operator.)

I'm looking for ideas (no matter how hare-brained; consider this a
brain-storming exercise) on how to:

a. Allow each operator to select the screen that they are going to work on.

b. Indicate to both operators the screen that each one of them is currently
working on.

c. Manage cursor conflicts (i.e., both operators have their cursor on the
same screen; and one or both might want to do some work on that screen; how
do you manage who gets to do their work in the most non-destructive way).

The world is your canvas; feel free to recommend both hardware and software
solutions here. (Neural and olfactory interfaces are probably out, though.)

I look foward to your ideas!

-Gerard

:: Gerard Torenvliet / gerard.torenvliet at cmcelectronics.ca
:: Human Factors Engineering Design Specialist
:: CMC Electronics Inc.
::
:: Ph - 613 592 7400 x 2613
:: Fx - 613 592 7432
::
:: 415 Legget Drive, P.O. Box 13330
:: Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA, K2K 2B2
:: http://www.cmcelectronics.ca

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2 Sep 2004 - 1:02pm
Dave Collins
2004

>and all input will be one-handed. (In the end, the cursor conflict
issue is my current problem; we have some ideas on text input that we
want to merge with an appropriate cursor-control/conflict resolution
paradigm.)

Or just give them only one mouse for the screens they share, placed
physically between their workspaces. Solves the whole cursor conflict
thing neatly.

(And incidentally creates a demand for us southpaws...)

Dave

2 Sep 2004 - 2:21pm
Harry Brignull
2004

Hi Gerard,

you may be interested in having a little look at:

http://www.abyssoft.com/software/teleport/
http://www.derman.com/KMremoteControl1.00/KMrC-Overview.html
and
www.dynamo-interactive.com (a research project I work on)

I guess these might not be immediately useful to you, but all the same,
worth a look

- Harry

2 Sep 2004 - 2:31pm
Gerard Torenvliet
2004

Greg,

Technically, we have as much power as is needed to do anything you want. The target system will be using highly customized computers around a high-end processor. Each screen will likely be running what those in the know would see as an application, but it is really one integrated system to the user.

I don't want to worry about those sorts of technical constraints right now. After all, it's just programming. :-) I've been asked to blue-sky.

Thanks,
-Gerard

:: Gerard Torenvliet / gerard.torenvliet at cmcelectronics.ca
:: Human Factors Engineering Design Specialist
:: CMC Electronics Inc.
::
:: Ph - 613 592 7400 x 2613
:: Fx - 613 592 7432
::
:: 415 Legget Drive, P.O. Box 13330
:: Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA, K2K 2B2
:: http://www.cmcelectronics.ca

3 Sep 2004 - 12:55pm
Christian Simon
2003

> The world is your canvas; feel free to recommend both hardware and software
> solutions here.

Similar to dave's comment about sharing a mouse, another idea would be to
let the users share a switch board.

[ 1 ]-[ 1 ]-[ 0 ]-[ 2 ]-[ 2 ]

The left user has immediate access to the left screen and one of the center
three. The right user has the right most screen and one of the middle three.
This could be done virtually on screen where the other user's current screen
is not an option.

Does this system you are creating use a switch to share the monitors between
personal PCs or is this like a terminal?

Christian

////////////////////christiansimon at pacbell.net\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

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