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Advances in Human-Computer Interaction
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 371867, 17 pages
Research Article

Interaction Tasks and Controls for Public Display Applications

1CITAR/School of Arts, Portuguese Catholic University, 4169-005 Porto, Portugal
2Algoritmi Centre, University of Minho, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal

Received 2 November 2013; Revised 18 February 2014; Accepted 18 March 2014; Published 10 April 2014

Academic Editor: Thomas Mandl

Copyright © 2014 Jorge C. S. Cardoso and Rui José. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Public displays are becoming increasingly interactive and a broad range of interaction mechanisms can now be used to create multiple forms of interaction. However, the lack of interaction abstractions forces each developer to create specific approaches for dealing with interaction, preventing users from building consistent expectations on how to interact across different display systems. There is a clear analogy with the early days of the graphical user interface, when a similar problem was addressed with the emergence of high-level interaction abstractions that provided consistent interaction experiences to users and shielded developers from low-level details. This work takes a first step in that same direction by uncovering interaction abstractions that may lead to the emergence of interaction controls for applications in public displays. We identify a new set of interaction tasks focused on the specificities of public displays; we characterise interaction controls that may enable those interaction tasks to be integrated into applications; we create a mapping between the high-level abstractions provided by the interaction tasks and the concrete interaction mechanisms that can be implemented by those displays. Together, these contributions constitute a step towards the emergence of programming toolkits with widgets that developers could incorporate into their public display applications.