Proceedings: GI 2006

TNT: improved rotation and translation on digital tables

Jun Liu, David Pinelle, Samer Sallam, Sriram Subramanian, Carl Gutwin

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2006: Québec, Québec, Canada, 7-9 June 2006, 25-32

  • BibTex

    author = {Liu, Jun and Pinelle, David and Sallam, Samer and Subramanian, Sriram and Gutwin, Carl},
    title = {TNT: improved rotation and translation on digital tables},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2006},
    series = {GI 2006},
    year = {2006},
    issn = {0713-5424},
    isbn = {1-56881-308-2},
    location = {Qu{\'e}bec, Qu{\'e}bec, Canada},
    pages = {25--32},
    numpages = {8},
    publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society},
    address = {Toronto, Ontario, Canada},


Digital tabletop systems allow users to work on computational objects in a flexible and natural setting. Since users can easily move to different positions around a table, systems must allow people to orient artifacts to their current position. However, it is only recently that rotation and translation techniques have been specifically designed for tabletops, and existing techniques still do not feel as simple and efficient as their real-world counterparts. To address this problem, we studied the ways that people move and reorient sheets of paper on real-world tabletops. We found that in almost all cases, rotation and translation are carried out simultaneously, and that an open-palm hand position was the most common way to carry out the motion. Based on our observations, we designed a new set of reorientation techniques that more closely parallel real-world motions. The new techniques, collectively called TNT, use three-degree-of-freedom (3DOF) input to allow simultaneous rotation and translation. A user study showed that all three variants of TNT were faster than a recent technique called RNT; in addition, participants strongly preferred TNT.