[Paper Review #14 27/09/17] CapStones and ZebraWidgets: Sensing Stacks of Building Blocks, Dials and Sliders on Capacitive Touch Screens

CapStones and ZebraWidgets: Sensing Stacks of Building Blocks, Dials and Sliders on Capacitive Touch Screens


Liwei Chan, Stefanie Müller, Anne Roudaut, and Patrick Baudisch
CHI '12, 4 pages




Summary

The paper implement conductive blocks (CapStones) and widgets (ZebraWidgets) that allows interaction in 3D space with consumer capacitive touch surface (iPad, etc.) The connection pattern in Capstones allows to recognize orientation/number of stacks/ID of blocks. ZebraWidgets can transfer contact patterns of above widgets using Zebra rubbers


I like about the paper

First of all, I feel the designs are very neat and clever. The paper clearly answers most of my questions popped up during the reading. The visual explanations are eye-pleasing. I like that it well describes the limitation of the system, staying factual, not over-promising. It also shows some efforts that the authors wanted to overcome the limitation caused by the consumer hardware, although it did not work.


Details that I want to know further

  • I don't see how the system distinguish the two colors of 3x3 CapStones.
  • I also wonder how it recognize maximum 6 CapStones on MacBook (Figure 10). The inside link of block described in Figure 4 cannot explain this.

How would I improve the paper

I think the Zebra rubber should be introduced first than the dials and sliders (widgets). Without knowing it, it was impossible for me to understand how the widgets work. It could be also possible to explicitly say that it is principle design, so that the readers can expect that the detailed implementation would come later.