Touch-based interfaces for Interaction with 3D Content

The InSTInCT project focuses on the design, development, and evaluation of new simple and efficient touch-based interfaces, with the goal of bringing widespread visibility to new generations of interactive 3D applications, aimed in particular at general public audiences.

The world is witnessing a widespread boom surrounding interactive touch-based surface technologies, noticably with the extremely rapid market penetration of multi-touch surface technologies, which have lately been spreading ubiquitously from small devices and smartphones to large, multimedia touchscreens. Such technologies are redefining entirely the way people interact with the digital world (new interfaces, new applications). Although many examples have shown the usefulness of such technologies for 2D interaction, only very few applicative studies have leveraged the potential of touch-based surfaces for interactive 3D applications.

The InSTInCT project aims at tackling the challenges of 3D interaction, with in mind the idea of bringing 3D interfaces from its current office desktop use to new, broader usage and contexts, to positively emulate the recent 2D interface opening trend. To this goal, we propose a pluridisciplinary approach allowing to address all aspects of the problem, from technical to end-usage challenges.

Within the project we will first focus on bringing new hardware technologies leveraging a broad set of modalities and inputs (finger orientation, haptic feedback, etc). Second, we will propose new touch-based interaction techniques dedicated to interactive 3D tasks (manipulation, navigation, volume exploration). Third, we will aim at exporting the concept of touch-based 3D interaction to spawn new uses, targeting the full range of professionnal to general public applications.

To achieve these goals, we have put together a complementary team, with each partner bringing a key expertise in this spectrum. The INRIA teams from Bordeaux (IPARLA) and Lille (ALCOVE) are specialists in the design and evaluation of 3D interfaces, and in the fields of computer vision and 3D computing. Immersion is a firm specializing in designing, developing and marketing innovative interaction appliances. Finally, Cap Sciences, a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of scientific knowledge through public exhibitions, will be a key partner in designing interfaces targeted to wide audiences.

A fundamentally original aspect of the InSTInCT project, is to include broad experimental campaigns in the real-life conditions of Cap Science exhibits, from the earliest project stages. These test campaigns will be used to guide developments and will allow true-to-life and wide scale evaluation of the 3D interfaces we propose.

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