To solve the challenge of exploring large information spaces on interactive surfaces such as tabletops, we developed an optically tracked, lightweight, passive display (magic lens) that provides elegant three-dimensional exploration of rich datasets. This can either be volumetric, layered, zoomable, or temporal information spaces, which are mapped onto the physical volume above a tabletop. By moving the magic lens through the volume, corresponding data is displayed, thus serving as a window into virtuality. Hereby, various interaction techniques are introduced, which especially utilize the lens’ height in a novel way, e.g. for zooming or displaying various information layers.

Application Scenarios

Scenario 1: Volumetric Information Space

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In this scenario, users can slice through an MRI scan of a human head by simply moving or tilting the magic lens in the physical space above the tabletop.

Scenario 2: Layered Information Space

layer_body_147 layer_body_146 layer_body_145 layer_body_144

Various layers of information, in this case representing different human body systems, can be chosen from by lifting and lowering the magic lens.

Scenario 3: Zoomable Information Space

zoom_leaf_102 zoom_leaf_113 zoom_solothurn_114 zoom_solothurn_118

Various large images are displayed on the tabletop. Users can examine details (zooming in/out) by lifting or lowering the magic lens above the tabletop. A projected contour line of the magic lens is depicted on the tabletop in order to visualize the lens’ current position within the image.

Scenario 4: Temporal Information Space

temporal_bunny_159 temporal_bunny_7903 temporal_bunny_7901 temporal_bunny_7899

In this scenario, users can explore videos by moving the magic lens up and down. In this way, they can easily perform basic operations such as going forward/ backward in time in slow or fast motion.

Videos

Press Coverage

Publications

  • Exploring Information Spaces by Using Tangible Magic Lenses in a Tabletop Environment

    Exploring Information Spaces by Using Tangible Magic Lenses in a Tabletop Environment.

    Spindler, M.; Dachselt, R.;

    In Proceedings of the 28th of the International Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2010.CHI EA '10, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.ACM,4771-4776,2010.10.1145/1753846.1754229

    @inproceedings{fixme,
       author = {Martin Spindler and Raimund Dachselt},
       title = {Exploring Information Spaces by Using Tangible Magic Lenses in a Tabletop Environment},
       booktitle = {Proceedings of the 28th of the International Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2010},
       series = {CHI EA '10},
       year = {2010},
       month = {4},
       location = {Atlanta, Georgia, USA},
       pages = {4771--4776},
       numpages = {6},
       doi = {10.1145/1753846.1754229},
       url = {http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1753846.1754229},
       acmid = {1754229},
       publisher = {ACM},
       keywords = {data exploration, interactive surface, ir-tracking, magic lens, natural interaction, paper display, passive display, tabletop, tangible interaction, volume slicing, window into virtuality}
    }

    List of additional material

    Video

  • Towards Pen-based Annotation Techniques for Tangible Magic Lenses Above a Tabletop

    Towards Pen-based Annotation Techniques for Tangible Magic Lenses Above a Tabletop.

    Spindler, M.; Dachselt, R.;

    In Accompanying DVD of the ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces 2009.ITS '09, Banff, Alberta, Canada.2009.

    @inproceedings{fixme,
       author = {Martin Spindler and Raimund Dachselt},
       title = {Towards Pen-based Annotation Techniques for Tangible Magic Lenses Above a Tabletop},
       booktitle = {Accompanying DVD of the ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces 2009},
       series = {ITS '09},
       year = {2009},
       month = {11},
       location = {Banff, Alberta, Canada},
       numpages = {2}
    }

    List of additional material

    Poster

  • PaperLens: Advanced Magic Lens Interaction Above the Tabletop

    PaperLens: Advanced Magic Lens Interaction Above the Tabletop.

    Spindler, M.; Stellmach, S.; Dachselt, R.;

    In Proceedings of ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces 2009.ITS '09, Banff, Alberta, Canada.ACM,77-84,2009.10.1145/1731903.1731920

    @inproceedings{fixme,
       author = {Martin Spindler and Sophie Stellmach and Raimund Dachselt},
       title = {PaperLens: Advanced Magic Lens Interaction Above the Tabletop},
       booktitle = {Proceedings of ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces 2009},
       series = {ITS '09},
       year = {2009},
       month = {11},
       isbn = {978-1-60558-733-2},
       location = {Banff, Alberta, Canada},
       pages = {77--84},
       numpages = {8},
       doi = {10.1145/1731903.1731920},
       url = {http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1731903.1731920},
       acmid = {1731920},
       publisher = {ACM},
       address = {New York, NY, USA},
       keywords = {interaction techniques, multi-layer interaction, spatially aware displays, tangible interaction, three-dimensional space}
    }

    List of additional material

    Video, Talk

  • Advanced Magic Lens Interaction Above the Tabletop

    Advanced Magic Lens Interaction Above the Tabletop.

    Spindler, M.; Dachselt, R.;

    In TechDemo at ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces 2009.ITS '09, Banff, Alberta, Canada.2009.

    @misc{fixme,
       author = {Martin Spindler and Raimund Dachselt},
       title = {Advanced Magic Lens Interaction Above the Tabletop},
       booktitle = {TechDemo at ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces 2009},
       series = {ITS '09},
       year = {2009},
       month = {11},
       location = {Banff, Alberta, Canada}
    }

    List of additional material

  • Using Spatially Aware Tangible Displays for Exploring Virtual Spaces

    Using Spatially Aware Tangible Displays for Exploring Virtual Spaces.

    Spindler, M.; Sieber, J.; Dachselt, R.;

    In Proceedings of Mensch und Computer 2009.MuC'09, Berlin, Germany.Oldenbourg Publishing,253--262,2009.

    @inproceedings{fixme,
       author = {Martin Spindler and Jana Sieber and Raimund Dachselt},
       title = {Using Spatially Aware Tangible Displays for Exploring Virtual Spaces},
       booktitle = {Proceedings of Mensch und Computer 2009},
       year = {2009},
       month = {9},
       isbn = {978-3-486-59222-1},
       location = {Berlin, Germany},
       pages = {253----262},
       numpages = {10},
       publisher = {Oldenbourg Publishing},
       address = {M\"{u}nchen, Germany}
    }

    List of additional material