Proceedings: GI 2011

3D sketching using interactive fabric for tangible and bimanual input

Anamary Leal , Doug Bowman , Laurel Schaefer , Francis Quek , Clarissa Stiles

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2011: St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, 25 - 27 May 2011, 49-56

DOI 10.20380/GI2011.07

  • Bibtex

    author = {Leal, Anamary and Bowman, Doug and Schaefer, Laurel and Quek, Francis and Stiles, Clarissa},
    title = {3D sketching using interactive fabric for tangible and bimanual input},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2011},
    series = {GI 2011},
    year = {2011},
    issn = {0713-5424},
    isbn = {978-1-4503-0693-5},
    location = {St. John{\textquoteright}s, Newfoundland, Canada},
    pages = {49--56},
    numpages = {8},
    doi = {10.20380/GI2011.07},
    publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society},
    address = {Toronto, Ontario, Canada},


As an input device, fabric holds potential benefits for three dimensional (3D) interaction in the domain of surface design, which includes designing objects from clothing to metalwork. To investigate these benefits, we conducted an exploratory study of different users' natural interactions with fabric. During this study, we instructed users to communicate various shapes and surfaces of varying complexity. A prevailing way of communicating shapes proved to be an in-the-air sketch metaphor. Based on this result, we proposed and implemented a system supporting three in-the-air sketch-based input devices: a point, a flexible curve, and a flexible surface. A preliminary feasibility study found that users successfully sketched objects and scenes despite the influence of tracking issues, suggesting lessons learned and relevant constraints for such systems in future work.