How to Interact with Wall-Sized, High-Resolution Displays

Based on the type of a utilized input device, there are three ways to interact with wall-sized, high-resolution displays:

  • direct from up close using touch devices
  • from up close or from a distance using mid-air devices
  • from a distance using stationary devices

Direct interaction, however, is not always possible due to the dimension/construction of some displays and suffers lack of interaction at a distance. According to Ni et. al (Ni et. al 2006), the issue of reaching distant objects is one of the main large-display usability issues. Direct interaction techniques prone mostly to this issue, because the user has to interact from up close. Stationary input devices, like mouse and keyboard, as well as workstations like laptop used for input tether the user, reducing the benefits of physical navigation (Ball et. al 2007, Ni et. al 2006). Kopper et. al (Kopper et. al 2008) identified five issues related to mid-air pointing devices for interaction:

  • natural hand tremor
  • Heisenberg effect
  • mapping varies with distance
  • no parkability
  • no supporting surface

Consequently, mobile device based interaction techniques seem to provide a good tradeoff untethering the user and therefore allowing to manipulate from any distance. Additionally, they avoid most pointing devices issues and ensuring distal access to objects.


Kopper, R., Silva, M. G., McMahan, R. P., & Bowman, D. A. (2008). Increasing the Precision of Distant Pointing for Large High-Resolution Displays (Technical Report TR-08-17; Computer Science). Virginia Tech.
Ball, R., North, C., & Bowman, D. A. (2007). Move to improve: Promoting physical navigation to increase user performance with large displays. Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’07).
Tao Ni, Schmidt, G. S., Staadt, O. G., Livingston, M. A., Ball, R., & May, R. (2006). A Survey of Large High-Resolution Display Technologies, Techniques, and Applications. 223–236.
Ni, T., Bowman, D. A., & Chen, J. (2006). Increased Display Size and Resolution Improve Task Performance in Information-Rich Virtual Environments. In Information-Rich Virtual Environments. Graphics Interface (GI) 2006, 139–146.

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