Tangible Awareness: How Tangibles on Tabletops Influence Awareness of Each Other’s Actions

Cherek, Christian and Brocker, Anke and Voelker, Simon and Borchers, Jan
In Proceedings of CHI '18, ACM, 298:1 - 298:7


Tangibles on multitouch tabletops increase speed, accuracy, and eyes-free operability for individual users, and verbal and behavioral social interaction among multiple users around smaller tables with a shared focus of attention. Modern multitouch tables, however, provide sizes and resolutions that let groups work alongside each other in separate workspaces. But how aware do these users remain of each other’s actions, and what impact can tangibles have on their awareness? We found that players were significantly more aware of other players’ actions using tangibles than those using pure multitouch interaction, indicated by faster reaction times. This effect was especially strong with more players. We close with qualitative user feedback and design recommendations.