Tangible Interface Design: The Orb

Optimization of complex visualization of brain white matter and design, prototyping and evaluation of a suitable tangible interface for manipulation of the visualization.

Challenges:  optimizing visualization, finding optimal interface mapping, analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, implementation of a working and demonstrable prototype
Tools:  PHP, HTML, CSS, C#, Arduino interface, IP protocol, SPSS, Camtasia
Deliverables:  a report, a functional prototype, results of the evaluation of the interface, results of the visualization optimization
Notes:  A├é┬áscientific paper on the study “User Study of Illustrative Techniques and Tangible Interaction in White Matter Fiber Bundle Exploration” has been submitted for IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications Journal. Currently under review.

Optimal settings for the visualization

This project was twofold. First, we focused on optimizing visualization of brain white matter. An innovative way for rendering this was created at Biomedical department of Eindhoven University of Technology. We devised a method to systematically evaluate different visualization variations in order to find the one that the user is most useful when exploring the data – helping the user to understand the structure of the visualization.

Second, we designed and implemented a tangible interface, which allows the user to explore data while using very natural movements. This interface was evaluated with domain experts – the people who specialize in analysis of brain white matter – in comparison with regular computer interface. It was found that the interface was more useful in specific situations like collaboration or presenting. It was impressive that the interface that we created was found to be usable at least as well, or better, as mouse-and-keyboard, although all the users had extensive training with mouse, and no prior training with our tangible interface.

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