Usability of Tablet PC as a Remote Control Device for Biomedical Data Visualization

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Department of Computer Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University

Interaction through multi-platform user interfaces (MPUIs), is increasingly being used in battlefield applications, telemedicine, classroom education, and engineering applications. Some of the uniqueness of these non-traditional user interfaces lies in the division of information between multiple displays and the remote control of information (e.g., using one computer to control a remote display). We preformed an exploratory study to compare three different setups: a Tablet PC with a traditional desktop, a Tablet PC with a large screen display (LSD) combination, and a desktop computer. The results showed that many users preferred the familiar Microsoft Windows widgets available on the Tablet PC; users often had difficulty generalizing their experiences' when using the Tablet PC; and the form factor of the Tablet PC worked in favor and against the user in different conditions. Our results indicate that while there are yet problems to overcome, generic handheld devices can make highly effective remote controls for virtual environments.

Human-computer interaction