News: Anoto has announced the release of their first interactive paper application Anoto penPresenter. It has similar functionality to PaperPoint developed at ETH Zurich as a demonstrator within the EU project PaperWorks where Anoto and ETH Zurich were partners.
This video of a presentation about PaperPoint given at the USAB 2008 conference shows some of the presentation tool's functionality.
The PaperPoint application is a simple but very effective tool for giving PowerPoint presentations. The slide handouts are printed on Anoto paper together with some additional paper buttons for controlling the PowerPoint presentation. A Digital Pen is used to remotely control the PowerPoint presentation over wireless Bluetooth technology.
The PaperPoint printouts of the slide handouts contain various buttons for interacting with the PowerPoint application. Below each slide there is a 'Show' button which is used to switch to the corresponding slide in the digital presentation. Further, a user can point directly to a slide, which switches to the corresponding digital slide version, and annotate the digital version by writing on the printed slide. At the bottom of each page, there are additional 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons for giving linear presentations and a 'First' and 'Last' button to jump to a presentation's first or last slide, respectively. A first evident benefit of the PaperPoint application is the fact that the presenter no longer has to stand next to the computer to control the slide presentation. The slides can be navigated remotely by pen and paper via a Bluetooth connection, which provides more freedom to the presenter for interacting with the audience. However, many other devices are available for controlling presentations remotely including wireless mice or even more specific presentation aids. While it is convenient to control the slide presentation remotely, this is not a unique feature of the paper-based user interface.
Compared to the conventional PowerPoint user interface, the paper-based PaperPoint control enables a more flexible way of giving presentations. The printed handouts provide a perfect overview over the available slides and, without switching to PowerPoint’s slide sorter and interrupting the flow of the presentation, slides can be presented in a non-linear order. The presenter can jump from one slide to any other slide by selecting the 'Show' buttons or pointing directly to specific slides and the audience will not recognise at all that the slides are not presented in their original order. This is not only very convenient if some slides have to be skipped because of time constraints, but also for showing specific slides while answering questions coming from the audience.
If a presenter starts to annotate one of the slides on the paper handouts, the written information is digitised and immediately integrated into the digital presentation by adding it to the appropriate slide. This functionality can, not only be used for highlighting existing parts of a slide, but also for spontaneously annotating a slide with textual information or diagrams. An example showing the highlighting of parts of a slide to emphasise important sections is shown in the figure shown above. The presenter highlighted the header of an XML document by circling it with the pen and drawing an arrow pointing to the text. Although this highlighting could also be directly done in the digital slide version, a major advantage of the paper-based solution is that it can be applied more easily than using a mouse. Note that of course it is also still possible to draw on slides using existing technologies, i.e. a computer mouse. However, not many people use this functionality since the mouse was not really invented as a writing tool and it is almost impossible to write text on a slide using a mouse. Our PaperPoint application brings this functionality back to the appropriate tool for creating handwritten annotations—paper and pen.
Another very powerful feature of the PaperPoint application is the fact that it can be controlled by any number of digital pens and not only a single pen. By having multiple input devices, collaboration between multiple users is supported. For example, the participants of a group meeting can collaboratively control a presentation and select which slides have to be shown. Each user has a version of the printed handouts and a digital pen allowing them to interact with the presentation. All annotations made on specific slides can be stored in a database and made available to other users which, for example, could be used by students for sharing notes that they have taken during a lecture. A student no longer has access to their personal physical annotations only, but can also use the handouts to retrieve comments from other students that have been stored in the database.
Especially in decision-making tasks, the collaborative presentation navigator can improve the overall performance by providing fast shared access to the relevant resources. If, for a moment, we forget about the content of a presentation, we get another application scenario where the PaperPoint tool can be applied in brainstorming sessions. Such a session can start either from an empty slide or be based on a slide containing some initial thoughts. A user can write down ideas on a paper document and share them with other users by projecting them on a screen. The PaperPoint application has been realised mainly by implementing active components which interact with the PowerPoint application. To access the functionality of the PowerPoint Windows application from Java, we used the Java/Win32 (Jawin) integration project. Jawin is an open source architecture for interoperation between the Java programming language and components exposed through the Component Object Model (COM) or Dynamic Link Libraries (DLLs). PaperPoint focused on accessing and controlling PowerPoint functionality. The same approach could easily be applied to integrate any Windows application and it is even possible to access functionality from multiple applications based on the very same paper document, thereby integrating paper with digital functionality provided by different applications. While only a small subset of PowerPoint’s functionality has actually been used by the PaperPoint navigation control to date, potentially any PowerPoint features could be accessed and integrated with the paper-based user interface.
Elke Reuss, Beat Signer and Moira C. Norrie, PowerPoint Multimedia Presentations in Computer Science Education: What do Users Need?, In Proceedings of USAB 2008,
4th Symposium on Usability & HCI for Education and Work, Graz, Austria,
November 2008 (best paper award)
Beat Signer, Fundamental Concepts for Interactive Paper and Cross-Media Information Spaces, ISBN 978-3-8370-2713-6, Hardcover, 276 Pages, May 2008 (first published 2006 as Diss ETH No. 16218)
Beat Signer and Moira C. Norrie, PaperPoint: A Paper-Based Presentation and Interactive Paper Prototyping Tool, In Proceedings of TEI 2007, First International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction, Baton Rouge, USA, February 2007
5 publications on this page.
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