CHI 2014 publication! In the Blink of an Eye, Microsoft Research internship paper #1

Woo hoo! It’s finally time that I can talk about some of the awesome work that I did at Microsoft Research while I was on my extended internship! One of my forthcoming papers, entitled “In the Blink of an Eye: Investigating Latency Perception during Stylus Interaction” is going to appear in the proceedings of CHI 2014. The conference will take place at the end of April in Toronto (yippeee no cell phone roaming fees!) but here is sneak preview of the abstract and the video we shot for the project. The follow-up to this work will be published at Graphics Interface 2014, and can be seen here.

The HPSS was built by Albert Ng and Paul Dietz, who collaborated previously on the High Performance Touch System that you can see here on YouTube. The psychophysical just-noticeable difference studies were incepted, conducted, and analyzed by me! Anoop Gupta and my supervisor Walter acted as mentors on the project.

While pen computing has become increasingly more popular, device responsiveness, or latency, still plagues such interaction. Although there have been advances in digitizer technology over the last few years, commercial end-to-end latencies are unfortunately similar to those found with touchscreens, i.e., 65 – 120 milliseconds. We report on a prototype stylus-enabled device, the High Performance Stylus System (HPSS), designed to display latencies as low as one millisecond while users ink or perform dragging tasks. To understand the role of latency while inking with a stylus, psychophysical just-noticeable difference experiments were conducted using the HPSS. While participants performed dragging and scribbling tasks, very low levels of latency could be discriminated, i.e., ~1 versus 2 milliseconds while dragging and ~7 versus 40 milliseconds while scribbling. The HPSS and our experimentation have provided further motivation for the implementation of latency saving measures in pen-based hardware and software systems.

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