Keepin' it Real: Pushing the Desktop Metaphor with Physics, Piles and the Pen

Anand Agarawala, Ravin Balakrishnan


We explore making virtual desktops behave in a more physically realistic manner by adding physics simulation and using piling instead of filing as the fundamental organizational structure. Objects can be casually dragged and tossed around, influenced by physical characteristics such as friction and mass, much like we would manipulate lightweight objects in the real world. We present a prototype, called BumpTop, that coherently integrates a variety of interaction and visualization techniques optimized for pen input we have developed to support this new style of desktop organization.


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