Proceedings: GI 2010

Design and evaluation of interaction models for multi-touch mice

Hrvoje Benko, Shahram Izadi, Andrew Wilson, Xiang Cao, Dan Rosenfeld, Ken Hinckley

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2010: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 31 May - 2 June 2010, 253-260

  • BibTex

    author = {Benko, Hrvoje and Izadi, Shahram and Wilson, Andrew and Cao, Xiang and Rosenfeld, Dan and Hinckley, Ken},
    title = {Design and evaluation of interaction models for multi-touch mice},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2010},
    series = {GI 2010},
    year = {2010},
    issn = {0713-5424},
    isbn = {978-1-56881-712-5},
    location = {Ottawa, Ontario, Canada},
    pages = {253--260},
    numpages = {8},
    publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society},
    address = {Toronto, Ontario, Canada},


Adding multi-touch sensing to the surface of a mouse has the potential to substantially increase the number of interactions available to the user. However, harnessing this increased bandwidth is challenging, since the user must perform multi-touch interactions while holding the device and using it as a regular mouse. In this paper we describe the design challenges and formalize the design space of multi-touch mice interactions. From our design space categories we synthesize four interaction models which enable the use of both multi-touch and mouse interactions on the same device. We describe the results of a controlled user experiment evaluating the performance of these models in a 2D spatial manipulation task typical of touch-based interfaces and compare them to interacting directly on a multi-touch screen and with a regular mouse. We observed that our multi-touch mouse interactions were overall slower than the chosen baselines; however, techniques providing a single focus of interaction and explicit touch activation yielded better performance and higher preferences from our participants. Our results expose the difficulties in designing multi-touch mice interactions and define the problem space for future research in making these devices effective.