Proceedings: GI 2016

All Across the Circle: Using Auto-Ordering to Improve Object Transfer between Mobile Devices

Chengzhao Li (University of Saskatchewan), Carl Gutwin (University of Saskatchewan), Kevin Stanley (University of Saskatchewan), Miguel Nacenta (University of St Andrews)

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2016: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 1-3 June 2016, 49-56

DOI 10.20380/GI2016.07

  • Bibtex

    author = {Li, Chengzhao and Gutwin, Carl and Stanley, Kevin and Nacenta, Miguel},
    title = {All Across the Circle: Using Auto-Ordering to Improve Object Transfer between Mobile Devices},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2016},
    series = {GI 2016},
    year = {2016},
    issn = {0713-5424},
    isbn = {978-0-9947868-1-4},
    location = {Victoria, British Columbia, Canada},
    pages = {49--56},
    numpages = {8},
    doi = {10.20380/GI2016.07},
    publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society / Soci{\'e}t{\'e} canadienne du dialogue humain-machine},
    keywords = {Object transfer; ad-hoc sharing; auto-ordering},


People frequently form small groups in many social and professional situations: from conference attendees meeting at a coffee break, to siblings gathering at a family barbecue. These ad-hoc gatherings typically form into predictable geometries based on circles or circular arcs (called F-Formations). Because our lives are increasingly stored and represented by data on handheld devices, the desire to be able to share digital objects while in these groupings has increased. Using the relative position in these groups to facilitate file sharing can enable intuitive techniques such as passing or flicking. However, there is no reliable, lightweight, ad-hoc technology for detecting and representing relative locations around a circle. In this paper, we present two systems that can auto-order locations about a circle based on sensors that are standard on commodity smartphones. We tested these systems using an object-passing task in a laboratory environment against unordered and proximity-based systems, and show that our techniques are faster, are more accurate, and are preferred by users.