Comparing paper and tangible, multimodal tools

David R. McGee, Philip R. Cohen, R. Matthews Wesson, Sheilah Horman

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


In command posts, officers maintain situational awareness using paper maps, Post-it notes, and hand-written annotations. They do so because paper is robust to failure, it is portable, it offers a flexible means of capturing information, it has ultra-high resolution, and it readily supports face-to-face collaboration. We report herein on an evaluation comparing maps and Post-its with a tangible multimodal system called Rasa. Rasa augments these paper tools with sensors, enabling it to recognize the multimodal language (both written and spoken) that naturally occurs on them. In this study, we found that not only do users prefer Rasa to paper alone, they find it as easy or easier to use than paper tools. Moreover, Rasa introduces no discernible overhead in its operation other than error repair, yet grants the benefits inherent in digital systems. Finally, subjects confirmed that by combining physical and computational tools, Rasa is resistant to computational failure.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2002
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2002 - Minneapolis, United States of America
Duration: 20 Apr 200225 Apr 2002
Conference number: 20th


ConferenceInternational Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2002
Abbreviated titleCHI 2002
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America


  • And tangible interfaces
  • Augmented reality
  • Invisible interfaces
  • Mixed reality
  • Multimodal interfaces

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