Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pen Rolling Paper Review

I chose for our UIST 2008 reading assignment to read the paper An Exploration of Pen Rolling for Pen-based Interaction by Bi, et al.

The paper was about a series of experiments done around the rarely implemented pen input along the longitudinal axis, specially studies "first on the parameters separating intentional and incidental pen rolling and secondly on "the parameter range within which accurate and timely intentional pen rolling interactions can be observed." The authors were interested in expanding the use of pens to encompass the whole range of uses of mice and keyboards, including scroll wheels, in what they call "pure pen computing."

Some questions that I had after reading this paper included how intuitive was it for the pen to be used as a scroll wheel? And could the incidental pen strokes cause for improper recognition by the system? I feel that these questions raise too large of hurdles for potential full-scale application of these pens, but if something could be created to mitigate the incidental (not too much unlike the Apple Newton case in Don Norman's The Design of Future Things), then there would be great promise in such devices.

Posted on: Lei Gui, George Lucchese, and Brad Twitty.


  1. I personally don't hold my pen/pencil in the same position when I'm not writing (tendency to twirl, spin, and other fidgeting-type behaviors). I'm wondering if this would cause the program to do many unintended things like randomly scroll around the page or select random pen-options. To people that don't have these tendencies, I think this research could be of use.

  2. That's an excellent point to bring up.

    With the current set up, it could very well happen—so as long as the motion is caught by the accompanying cameras (another setback with the research).