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Analysis of user pointing characteristics in virtual radial menu for developing new 3D pointing gesture interface

Analysis of user pointing characteristics in virtual radial menu for developing new 3D pointing gesture interface
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As the relevant IT technology development equipped with home appliances, diverse methods to control the household electrical/mechanical machines become required for enhancing control capability more effectively. Recently, Natural Gesture Interface which users can control the machines without any special supplemental equipment for easier controlling is in the center of the attention. However still there are some gesture recognition problems to apply natural gesture for controlling home appliances.In this study, new gesture interface was suggested, considering limits of existing gesture interfaces. As user indicates relative 3D position of virtual menu button from starting point, user can control functions of home appliances. For applying the proposed Pointing Gesture Interface to PIE menu, the study examines the users’ space recognition features for a radial menu in 3D space without any visual feedback.Total twenty POSTECH students at age 20’s and 30’s participated in the study. One factor within subject design was used for conducting two experiments: First one was about the participants’ abilities to recognize and divide the radial space, and the second was to observe whether the participants could indicate accurately the separated menu buttons within the target 3-D radial space. The independent variable was different 5 levels in the target radial space division regarding to numbers of pieces from 4 to 8. Working time, easy of space division, number of ERRORs, angle range of pointing space, difference in angles between the button center and pointing space, and easy of space recognition were measured as dependent variables for the study.In the result of the first experiment, the participants could easily divide the given space into even numbers because they could recognize the symmetry without any difficulty. Under the condition of space division into 7 pieces, the result of the second experiment presented more errors in terms of trespassing on inaccurate spaces other than the target button menu while easy of space recognition scored low.The results suggest that presenting menu with less than 7 pieces of radial space menu buttons should be more effective to be practiced. From the result of measuring the pointing angle range and comparing angle differences between pointing positions and button center, the participants could indicate the buttons within a narrow button range in four direction (up, down, right, left). The measured angle range was within 30 degree. In contrast to the horizontal and vertical directions, up to 50 angle degree range was measured for diagonal directions in the same condition. Based on the results, a menu design with narrow four vertical and horizontal directions and wide diagonal directions can be expected in the 8 button based menu for enhancing accuracy and efficiency of user’s practice. Last, the participants distinguished the given space and button menu based on their definite recognition on X axis for vertical and Y axis for horizontal direction.This study conducted the experiments to understand user characteristics in order to apply Relative Pointing Gesture Interface for radial menu (PIE menu). However features of diverse age groups should be considered for applying Relative Pointing Gesture Interface to home appliances. And if users can make button positions and size for themselves, Relative Pointing Gesture Interface can provide more effective usability with users due to its inclusiveness of the customized user characteristics on space recognition and division ability, so further research is required in the relevant field.
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