Instant User Interfaces: Repurposing Everyday Objects as Input Devices

Full paper at ACM ITS 2013 by Christian Corsten, Max Moellers, Ignacio Avellino Martinez, and Jan Borchers


Dedicated input devices are frequently used for system control. We present Instant User Interfaces, an interaction paradigm that loosens this dependency and allows operating a system even when its dedicated controller is unavailable. We implemented a reliable, marker-free object tracking system that enables users to assign semantic meaning to different poses or to touches in different areas. With this system, users can repurpose everyday objects and program them in an ad-hoc manner, using a GUI or by demonstration, as input devices. Users tested and ranked these methods alongside a Wizard-of-Oz speech interface. The testers did not show a clear preference as a group, but had individual preferences.



  • Christian Corsten, Ignacio Avellino, Max Möllers and Jan Borchers. Instant User Interfaces: Repurposing Everyday Objects as Input Devices.  In ITS '13: Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces, pages 71–80,October 2013.
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