Publication: Cutouts: Multiple Views for Tabletop Groupware

Tabletop work surfaces have several natural advantages for smallgroup collaboration, but tables also have physical constraints that can make group work difficult. In particular, tables are sometimes inflexible: artifacts on the table are always oriented improperly for some members of the group, and it is difficult to work in the same location as another person. In this paper, we introduce a new display infrastructure that greatly improves the flexibility of digital tabletop systems, and allows tables to better support the variable organization of work that is evident in real-world tabletop collaboration. Our approach – called cutouts – allows users to interactively create multiple views of the tabletop workspace. Cutouts allow people to work on objects from a different location, and allow people to move and re-orient a group of objects quickly and easily. Cutouts solve some of the usability problems that exist in current tabletop systems, but also provide a new interface paradigm that makes a wide variety of new interactions and manipulations possible.




David Pinelle
College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
Jeff Dyck
University of Saskatchewan
Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan
Tad Stach
Queen's University


Pinelle, D., Dyck, J., Gutwin, C., Stach, T. 2006. Cutouts: Multiple Views for Tabletop Groupware., Technical Report HCI-TR-06-04,


@techreport {cutouts,
author= {David Pinelle and Jeff Dyck and Carl Gutwin and Tad Stach},
title= {Cutouts: Multiple Views for Tabletop Groupware},
year= {2006},
number= {HCI-TR-06-04}