PAPIERCRAFT: A PAPER-BASED INTERFACE TO SUPPORT INTERACTION WITH DIGITAL DOCUMENTS
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Many researchers extensively interact with documents using both computers and paper printouts, which provide an opposite set of supports. Paper is comfortable to read from and write on, and it is flexible to be arranged in space; computers provide an efficient way to archive, transfer, search, and edit information. However, due to the gap between the two media, it is difficult to seamlessly integrate them together to optimize the user's experience of document interaction. Existing solutions either sacrifice inherent paper flexibility or support very limited digital functionality on paper. In response, we have proposed PapierCraft, a novel paper-based interface that supports rich digital facilities on paper without sacrificing paper's flexibility. By employing the emerging digital pen technique and multimodal pen-top feedback, PapierCraft allows people to use a digital pen to draw gesture marks on a printout, which are captured, interpreted, and applied to the corresponding digital copy. Conceptually, the pen and the paper form a paper-based computer, able to interact with other paper sheets and computing devices for operations like copy/paste, hyperlinking, and web searches. Furthermore, it retains the full range of paper advantages through the light-weighted, pen-paper-only interface. By combining the advantages of paper and digital media and by supporting the smooth transition between them, PapierCraft bridges the paper-computer gap. The contributions of this dissertation focus on four respects. First, to accommodate the static nature of paper, we proposed a pen-gesture command system that does not rely on screen-rendered feedback, but rather on the self-explanatory pen ink left on the paper. Second, for more interactive tasks, such as searching for keywords on paper, we explored pen-top multimodal (e.g. auditory, visual, and tactile) feedback that enhances the command system without sacrificing the inherent paper flexibility. Third, we designed and implemented a multi-tier distributed infrastructure to map pen-paper interactions to digital operations and to unify document interaction on paper and on computers. Finally, we systematically evaluated PapierCraft through three lab experiments and two application deployments in the areas of field biology and e-learning. Our research has demonstrated the feasibility, usability, and potential applications of the paper-based interface, shedding light on the design of the future interface for digital document interaction. More generally, our research also contributes to ubiquitous computing, mobile interfaces, and pen-computing.