TractorBeam Selection Aids: Improving Target Acquisition for Pointing Input on Tabletop Displays

  • J. Karen Parker
  • Regan L. Mandryk
  • Michael N. Nunes
  • Kori M. Inkpen
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3585)


This paper presents a comparison of several selection aids to improve pointing input on tabletop displays. Our previous research explored the TractorBeam–a hybrid point-touch interaction technique for tabletop displays. We found that while pointing input was preferred (over touch) by users of tabletop displays, it was slower for small distant targets. Drawing from previous work on improving target acquisition for desktop displays, we developed and tested three selection aids to improve pointing selection of small distant targets on tabletop displays: expanding the cursor, expanding the target, and snapping to the target. Our experiments revealed that all three aids resulted in faster selection times than no selection aid at all, with snapping to the target being the fastest. Additionally, participants liked snapping to the target better than the other selection aids and found it to be the most effective for selecting targets.


Movement Time Distant Target Input Device Interaction Technique Target Circle 
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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Karen Parker
    • 1
    • 3
  • Regan L. Mandryk
    • 2
  • Michael N. Nunes
    • 1
  • Kori M. Inkpen
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Comp. Sci.Dalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.School of Comp. Sci.Simon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  3. 3.Dept. of Comp. Sci.University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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