Document Reader Simulating the Usability of Paper as a Medium for Reading

Even with electronic media's strong presence in today's market, it is paper's usability that works to retain its stature as the superior medium on which to read material. Examples of its usability include allowing readers to point to and trace text as they read, as well as use their fingers to hold page places for later reference. In contrast, current electronic media do not provide such affordances. Readers are discouraged from tracing or pointing to text with their fingers on touchscreen tablets, as such gestures may initiate undesired operations. In addition, the ease of using fingers as bookmarks to keep track of physical pages still surpasses that of its electronic counterparts attempting to mimic such functionality. To address these limitations, we have proposed a document reader that, through use of simple gestures, provides seamless switching back-and-forth between basic pointing/tracing movements and interactive touch operations, while simultaneously integrating features that simulate the act of holding page places with one's fingers. The results of two user experiments (one testing proof reading and the other testing cross referencing between pages) showed that participants performed tasks required of them faster with the proposed system than with conventional touchscreen systems.


  • Kentaro Takano
    Communication Design Office, Research & Technology Group

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Document Reader Simulating the Usability of Paper as a Medium for Reading