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2/11/2014

THECOMPUTER

The Computer
ya computer system is made up of various elements
yeach of these elements affects the interaction
y input devices text entry and pointing
y output devices screen (small & large), digital paper
y virtual reality special interaction and display devices
y physical interaction e.g. sound, haptic, bio-sensing
y paper as output (print) and input (scan)
y memory RAM & permanent media, capacity & access
y processing speed of processing, networks

Interacting with computers


to understand humancomputer interaction
need to understand computers!
what goes in and out
devices, paper,
sensors, etc.

what can it do?

memory, processing,
networks

2/11/2014

A typical computer system


y screen, or monitor, on which there are windows
y keyboard
y mouse/trackpad

window 1

y variations

window 2

y desktop
y laptop
y PDA

12-37pm

y the devices dictate the styles of interaction that the system

supports
y If we use different devices, then the interface will support a

different style of interaction

Limitation on processing
speed
Networks and their impact
on system performance

Input devices for interactive


use, allowing text entry,
drawing and selection from
the screen.
Output display devices for
interactive use

Input/output
devices

Virtual
reality
system

Processing
speed

COMPUTER
TECHNOLOGY
Short-term, long-term,
capacity limitation &
access method.

Memory
capacity

Have special
interaction and display
devices

Physical
devices

Physical controls
& dedicated
display, sound,
smell & haptic
feedback &
sensors

INPUT / OUTPUT devices


INPUT
Keyboard
Phone pad
Handwriting recognition
Speech recognition

OUTPUT
Bitmap
Technologies
Large display

POINTER
Mouse
Touchpad
Trackball
Joystick
Touchscreen
Stylus pen
Tablet
Eyegaze

Input/o
utput
devices
Proces
sing
speed

COMPUTER
TECHNOLOGY

Memor
y
capacit
y

Virtual
reality
system

Physic
al
devices

2/11/2014

INPUT
Keyboard
Phone pad
Handwriting
recognition
Speech
recognition

Keyboards
y Most common text input device

y Allows rapid entry of text by experienced users


y Keypress closes connection, causing a character

code to be sent
y Usually connected by cable, but can be wireless

INPUT
Keyboard
Phone pad
Handwriting
recognition
Speech
recognition

layout QWERTY
y Standardised layout

but
y non-alphanumeric keys are placed differently
y accented symbols needed for different scripts
y minor differences between UK and USA keyboards

y QWERTY arrangement not optimal for typing

layout to prevent typewriters jamming!


y Alternative designs allow faster typing but large

social base of QWERTY typists produces


reluctance to change.

INPUT
Keyboard
Phone pad
Handwriting
recognition
Speech
recognition

QWERTY (ctd)

1
Q

3
W

A
Z

D
X

5
R
F

6
T
G

7
Y

H
B

J
N

9
I
K

0
O

L
,

SPA CE

2/11/2014

alternative keyboard layouts


Alphabetic
y keys arranged in alphabetic order
y not faster for trained typists
y not faster for beginners either!

INPUT
Keyboard
Phone pad
Handwriting
recognition
Speech
recognition

Dvorak
y common letters under dominant fingers
y biased towards right hand
y common combinations of letters alternate between hands
y 10-15% improvement in speed and reduction in fatigue
y But - large social base of QWERTY typists produce market
pressures not to change

Chord keyboards

INPUT
Keyboard
Phone pad
Handwriting
recognition
Speech
recognition

y only a few keys - four or 5


y letters typed as combination of keypresses
y compact size
y ideal for portable applications
y short learning time
y keypresses reflect letter shape
y fast
y once you have trained
y BUT - social resistance, plus fatigue after extended use
y NEW niche market for some wearable

phone pad and T9 entry


y use numeric keys with

INPUT
Keyboard
Phone pad
Handwriting
recognition
Speech
recognition

multiple presses
2abc 6-mno
3-def
7-pqrs
4-ghi
8-tuv
5-jkl
9-wxyz
hello = 4433555[pause]555666
surprisingly fast!
y T9 predictive entry
y type as if single key for each letter
y use dictionary to guess the right word
y hello = 43556
y but 26 -> menu am or an

2/11/2014

Handwriting recognition

INPUT
Keyboard
Phone pad
Handwriting
recognition
Speech
recognition

y Text can be input into the computer, using a pen and a

digesting tablet
y natural interaction
y Technical problems:
y capturing all useful information - stroke path, pressure,

etc. in a natural manner


y segmenting joined up writing into individual letters
y interpreting individual letters
y coping with different styles of handwriting
y Used in PDAs, and tablet computers

leave the keyboard on the desk!

Speech recognition

INPUT
Keyboard
Phone pad
Handwriting
recognition
Speech
recognition

y Improving rapidly
y Most successful when:
y single user initial training and learns peculiarities
y limited vocabulary systems
y Problems with
y external noise interfering
y imprecision of pronunciation
y large vocabularies
y different speakers

POINTER

the Mouse
y Handheld pointing device
y very common
y easy to use

Mouse
Touchpad
Trackball
Joystick
Touchscreen
Stylus pen
Tablet
Eyegaze

y Two characteristics
y planar movement
y buttons
(usually from 1 to 3 buttons on top, used for making a selection,
indicating an option, or to initiate drawing etc.)

2/11/2014

POINTER

the mouse (ctd)


y Mouse located on desktop

Mouse
Touchpad
Trackball
Joystick
Touchscreen
Stylus pen
Tablet
Eyegaze

y requires physical space


y no arm fatigue
y Relative movement only is detectable.
y Movement of mouse moves screen cursor
y Screen cursor oriented in (x, y) plane,

mouse movement in (x, z) plane


y an indirect manipulation device.
y device itself doesnt obscure screen, is accurate and fast.
y hand-eye coordination problems for novice users

POINTER

How does it work?


y Two methods for detecting motion

Mouse
Touchpad
Trackball
Joystick
Touchscreen
Stylus pen
Tablet
Eyegaze

y Mechanical
y Ball on underside of mouse turns as mouse is moved
y Rotates orthogonal potentiometers
y Can be used on almost any flat surface
y Optical
y light emitting diode on underside of mouse
y may use special grid-like pad or just on desk
y less susceptible to dust and dirt
y detects fluctuating alterations in reflected light intensity to

calculate relative motion in (x, z) plane

POINTER

Touchpad
y small touch sensitive tablets

Mouse
Touchpad
Trackball
Joystick
Touchscreen
Stylus pen
Tablet
Eyegaze

y stroke to move mouse pointer


y used mainly in laptop computers
y good acceleration settings important
y fast stroke
lots of pixels per inch moved
initial movement to the target
y slow stroke
less pixels per inch
for accurate positioning

2/11/2014

POINTER

Trackball and thumbwheels


Trackball

Mouse
Touchpad
Trackball
Joystick
Touchscreen
Stylus pen
Tablet
Eyegaze

y ball is rotated inside static housing

like an upsdie down mouse!


y relative motion moves cursor
y indirect device, fairly accurate
y separate buttons for picking
y very fast for gaming
y used in some portable and notebook computers.

Thumbwheels
y for accurate CAD two dials for X-Y cursor position
y for fast scrolling single dial on mouse

POINTER

Joystick and keyboard nipple


Joystick

Mouse
Touchpad
Trackball
Joystick
Touchscreen
Stylus pen
Tablet
Eyegaze

y indirect

pressure of stick = velocity of movement


y buttons for selection

on top or on front like a trigger


y often used for computer games

aircraft controls and 3D navigation

Keyboard nipple
y for laptop computers
y miniature joystick in the middle of the keyboard

POINTER

Touch-sensitive screen

Mouse
Touchpad
Trackball
Joystick
Touchscreen
Stylus pen
Tablet
Eyegaze

y Detect the presence of finger or stylus on the screen.


y works by interrupting matrix of light beams, capacitance changes or ultrasonic
reflections
y direct pointing device
y Advantages:
y fast, and requires no specialised pointer
y good for menu selection
y suitable for use in hostile environment: clean and safe from damage.
y Disadvantages:
y finger can mark screen
y imprecise (finger is a fairly blunt instrument!)
difficult to select small regions or perform accurate drawing
y lifting arm can be tiring

2/11/2014

POINTER

Stylus and light pen


Stylus

Mouse
Touchpad
Trackball
Joystick
Touchscreen
Stylus pen
Tablet
Eyegaze

y small pen-like pointer to draw directly on screen


y may use touch sensitive surface or magnetic detection
y used in PDA, tablets PCs and drawing tables

Light Pen
y now rarely used
y uses light from screen to detect location

BOTH
y very direct and obvious to use
y but can obscure screen

POINTER

Digitizing tablet
y Mouse like-device with cross hairs

Mouse
Touchpad
Trackball
Joystick
Touchscreen
Stylus pen
Tablet
Eyegaze

y used on special surface

- rather like stylus


y very accurate

- used for digitizing maps

POINTER

Eyegaze
y control interface by eye gaze direction
y e.g. look at a menu item to select it

Mouse
Touchpad
Trackball
Joystick
Touchscreen
Stylus pen
Tablet
Eyegaze

y uses laser beam reflected off retina


y a very low power laser!
y mainly used for evaluation (ch x)
y potential for hands-free control
y high accuracy requires headset
y cheaper and lower accuracy devices available

sit under the screen like a small webcam

2/11/2014

POINTER

Cursor keys
y Four keys (up, down, left, right) on keyboard.

Mouse
Touchpad
Trackball
Joystick
Touchscreen
Stylus pen
Tablet
Eyegaze

y Very, very cheap, but slow.


y Useful for not much more than basic motion for text-editing tasks.
y No standardised layout, but inverted T, most common

POINTER

Discrete positioning controls


y in phones, TV controls etc.
y cursor pads or mini-joysticks
y discrete left-right, up-down
y mainly for menu selection

bitmap displays

Mouse
Touchpad
Trackball
Joystick
Touchscreen
Stylus pen
Tablet
Eyegaze

OUTPUT
Bitmap
Technologies
Large display

y screen is vast number of coloured dots

2/11/2014

resolution and colour depth

OUTPUT
Bitmap
Technologies
Large display

y Resolution used (inconsistently) for


y number of pixels on screen (width x height)
e.g. SVGA 1024 x 768, PDA perhaps 240x400
y density of pixels (in pixels or dots per inch - dpi)
typically between 72 and 96 dpi
y Aspect ratio
y ration between width and height
y 4:3 for most screens, 16:9 for wide-screen TV
y Colour depth:
y how many different colours for each pixel?
y black/white or greys only
y 256 from a pallete
y 8 bits each for red/green/blue = millions of colours

anti-aliasing

OUTPUT
Bitmap
Technologies
Large display

yJaggies
y diagonal lines that have discontinuities in due to

horizontal raster scan process.


yAnti-aliasing
y softens edges by using shades of line colour
y also used for text

Cathode ray tube

OUTPUT
Bitmap
Technologies
Large display

y Stream of electrons emitted from electron gun, focused and

directed by magnetic fields, hit phosphor-coated screen


which glows
y used in TVs and computer monitors
electron beam
electron gun

focussing and
deflection
phosphorcoated screen

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2/11/2014

Liquid crystal displays

OUTPUT
Bitmap
Technologies
Large display

y Smaller, lighter, and no radiation problems.


y Found on PDAs, portables and notebooks,

and increasingly on desktop and even for home TV


y also used in dedicted displays:

digital watches, mobile phones, HiFi controls


y How it works
y Top plate transparent and polarised, bottom plate

reflecting.
y Light passes through top plate and crystal, and reflects

back to eye.
y Voltage applied to crystal changes polarisation and hence

colour
y N.B. light reflected not emitted => less eye strain

special displays

OUTPUT
Bitmap
Technologies
Large display

y Random Scan (Directed-beam refresh, vector display)


y draw the lines to be displayed directly
y no jaggies
y lines need to be constantly redrawn
y rarely used except in special instruments
y Direct view storage tube (DVST)
y Similar to random scan but persistent => no flicker
y Can be incrementally updated but not selectively erased
y Used in analogue storage oscilloscopes

large displays

OUTPUT
Bitmap
Technologies
Large display

y used for meetings, lectures, etc.


y technology
yplasma
usually wide screen
yvideo walls lots of small screens together
yprojected
RGB lights or LCD projector
hand/body obscures screen
may be solved by 2 projectors + clever software

yback-projected
frosted glass + projector behind

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2/11/2014

situated displays

OUTPUT
Bitmap
Technologies
Large display

y displays in public places


y large or small
y very public or for small group
y display only
y for information relevant to location
y or interactive
y use stylus, touch sensitive screen
y in all cases the location matters
y meaning of information or interaction is related to the

location

Digital paper
y what?

OUTPUT
Bitmap
Technologies
Large display

appearance

y thin flexible sheets


y updated electronically
y but retain display

cross
section

y how?
y small spheres turned
y or channels with coloured liquid

and contrasting spheres


y rapidly developing area

positioning in 3D space
y cockpit and virtual controls
y steering wheels, knobs and dials just like real!
y the 3D mouse
y six-degrees of movement: x, y, z + roll, pitch, yaw
y data glove
y fibre optics used to detect finger position
y VR helmets
y detect head motion and possibly eye gaze
y whole body tracking
y accelerometers strapped to limbs or reflective dots and

video processing

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2/11/2014

pitch, yaw and roll


yaw

roll

pitch

3D displays
y desktop VR
y ordinary screen, mouse or keyboard control
y perspective and motion give 3D effect
y seeing in 3D
y use stereoscopic vision
y VR helmets
y screen plus shuttered specs, etc.

VR headsets
y small TV screen for each eye
y slightly different angles
y 3D effect

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2/11/2014

simulators and VR caves


y scenes projected on walls
y realistic environment
y hydraulic rams!
y real controls
y other people

Input/o
utput
devices
Proces
sing
speed

COMPUTER
TECHNOLOGY

Memor
y
capacit
y

Virtual
reality
system

Physic
al
devices

dedicated displays
y analogue representations:
y dials, gauges, lights, etc.
y digital displays:
y small LCD screens, LED lights, etc.
y head-up displays
y found in aircraft cockpits
y show most important controls
depending on context

SOUND, Touch, feel, smell


y beeps, bongs, clonks, whistles and whirrs
y used for error indications
y confirmation of actions e.g. keyclick
y touch and feeling important
y in games vibration, force feedback
y in simulation feel of surgical instruments
y called haptic devices

y texture, smell, taste


y current technology very limited

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2/11/2014

physical controls
y specialist controls needed
y industrial controls, consumer products, etc.

easy-clean
smooth buttons

large buttons

multi-function
control
clear dials

tiny buttons

Environment and bio-sensing


y sensors all around us
y car courtesy light small switch on door
y ultrasound detectors security, washbasins
y RFID security tags in shops
y temperature, weight, location
y and even our own bodies
y iris scanners, body temperature, heart rate, galvanic skin
response, blink rate

Printing
y image made from small dots
y allows any character set or graphic to be printed,
y critical features:
y resolution
size and spacing of the dots
measured in dots per inch (dpi)

y speed
usually measured in pages per minute
y cost!!

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2/11/2014

Fonts
y Font the particular style of text
Courier font
Helvetica font
Palatino font
Times Roman font
(special symbol)

y Size of a font measured in points (1 pt about 1/72)

(vaguely) related to its height


This is ten point Helvetica

This is twelve point

This is fourteen point

This is eighteen point

and this is twenty-four point

Fonts (ctd)
y Pitch
y fixed-pitch every character has the same width
e.g. Courier
y variable-pitched some characters wider
e.g. Times Roman compare the i and the m
y Serif or Sans-serif
y sans-serif square-ended strokes
e.g. Helvetica
y serif with splayed ends (such as)
e.g. Times Roman or Palatino

Page Description Languages


y Pages very complex
y different fonts, bitmaps, lines, digitised photos, etc.
y Can convert it all into a bitmap and send to the printer

but often huge !


y Alternatively Use a page description language
y sends a description of the page can be sent,
y instructions for curves, lines, text in different styles, etc.
y like a programming language for printing!
y PostScript is the most common

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2/11/2014

Screen and page


y WYSIWYG
y what you see is what you get
y aim of word processing, etc.
y but
y screen: 72 dpi, landscape image
y print: 600+ dpi, portrait
y can try to make them similar

but never quite the same


y so need different designs, graphics etc, for screen and

print

Scanners
y Take paper and convert it into a bitmap
y Two sorts of scanner
y flat-bed: paper placed on a glass plate, whole page

converted into bitmap


y hand-held: scanner passed over paper, digitising strip

typically 3-4 wide


y Shines light at paper and note intensity of reflection
y colour or greyscale
y Typical resolutions from 6002400 dpi

Scanners (ctd)
Used in
y desktop publishing for incorporating photographs and

other images
y document storage and retrieval systems, doing away

with paper storage


+ special scanners for slides and photographic

negatives

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2/11/2014

Optical character recognition


y OCR converts bitmap back into text
y different fonts
y create problems for simple template matching
algorithms
y more complex systems segment text, decompose it into
lines and arcs, and decipher characters that way
y page format
y columns, pictures, headers and footers
Input/o
utput
devices
Proces
sing
speed

COMPUTER
TECHNOLOGY

Memor
y
capacit
y

Virtual
reality
system

Physic
al
devices

Short-term Memory - RAM


y Random access memory (RAM)
y on silicon chips
y 100 nano-second access time
y usually volatile (lose information if power turned off)
y data transferred at around 100 Mbytes/sec
y Some non-volatile RAM used to store basic set-up

information
y Typical desktop computers:

64 to 256 Mbytes RAM

Long-term Memory - disks


y magnetic disks
y floppy disks store around 1.4 Mbytes
y hard disks typically 40 Gbytes to 100s of Gbytes

access time ~10ms, transfer rate 100kbytes/s


y optical disks
y use lasers to read and sometimes write
y more robust that magnetic media
y CD-ROM

- same technology as home audio, ~ 600 Gbytes


y DVD - for AV applications, or very large files

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2/11/2014

Blurring boundaries
y PDAs
y often use RAM for their main memory
y Flash-Memory
y used in PDAs, cameras etc.
y silicon based but persistent
y plug-in USB devices for data transfer

speed and capacity


y what do the numbers mean?
y some sizes (all uncompressed)
y this book, text only ~ 320,000 words, 2Mb
y the Bible ~ 4.5 Mbytes
y scanned page ~ 128 Mbytes
(11x8 inches, 1200 dpi, 8bit greyscale)
y digital photo ~ 10 Mbytes
(24 mega pixels, 24 bit colour)
y video ~ 10 Mbytes per second
(512x512, 12 bit colour, 25 frames per sec)

virtual memory
y Problem:
y running lots of programs + each program large
y not enough RAM
y Solution - Virtual memory :
y store some programs temporarily on disk
y makes RAM appear bigger
y But swopping
y program on disk needs to run again
y copied from disk to RAM
yslows

t h i n g s

19

2/11/2014

Compression
y reduce amount of storage required
y lossless
y recover exact text or image e.g. GIF, ZIP
y look for commonalities:
text: AAAAAAAAAABBBBBCCCCCCCC
10A5B8C
video: compare successive frames and store change
y lossy
y recover something like original e.g. JPEG, MP3
y exploit perception
JPEG: lose rapid changes and some colour
MP3: reduce accuracy of drowned out notes

Storage formats - text


y ASCII - 7-bit binary code for to each letter and character
y UTF-8 - 8-bit encoding of 16 bit character set
y RTF (rich text format)

- text plus formatting and layout information


y SGML (standardized generalised markup language)

- documents regarded as structured objects


y XML (extended markup language)

- simpler version of SGML for web applications

Storage formats - media


y Images:
y many storage formats :

(PostScript, GIFF, JPEG, TIFF, PICT, etc.)


y plus different compression techniques

(to reduce their storage requirements)


y Audio/Video
y again lots of formats :

(QuickTime, MPEG, WAV, etc.)


y compression even more important
y also streaming formats for network delivery

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2/11/2014

methods of access
y large information store
y long time to search => use index
y what you index

-> what you can access

y simple index needs exact match


y forgiving systems:
y Xerox do what I mean (DWIM)
y SOUNDEX McCloud ~ MacCleod
y access without structure
y free text indexing (all the words in a document)
y needs lots of space!!

Input/o
utput
devices
Proces
sing
speed

COMPUTER
TECHNOLOGY

Memor
y
capacit
y

Virtual
reality
system

Physic
al
devices

Finite processing speed


y Designers tend to assume fast processors, and make

interfaces more and more complicated


y But problems occur, because processing cannot keep up

with all the tasks it needs to do


y cursor overshooting because system has buffered
keypresses
y icon wars - user clicks on icon, nothing happens, clicks
on another, then system responds and windows fly
everywhere
y Also problems if system is too fast - e.g. help screens may

scroll through text much too rapidly to be read

Limitations on interactive
performance
y Computation bound
y Computation takes ages, causing frustration for the user
y Storage channel bound
y Bottleneck in transference of data from disk to memory
y Graphics bound
y Common bottleneck: updating displays requires a lot of

effort - sometimes helped by adding a graphics coprocessor optimised to take on the burden
y Network capacity
y Many computers networked - shared resources and files,
access to printers etc. - but interactive performance can be
reduced by slow network speed

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2/11/2014

Networked computing
Networks allow access to
y large memory and processing
y other people (groupware, email)
y shared resources esp. the web
Issues
y network delays slow feedback
y conflicts - many people update data
y unpredictability

Input/o
utput
devices
Proces
sing
speed

COMPUTER
TECHNOLOGY

Memor
y
capacit
y

Virtual
reality
system

Physic
al
devices

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