Bimodality in Handwriting-Visual Control can be interpreted in at least two ways:
More specifically, one may consider the control of graphical objects on a
CRT screen, by using a pen for discrete selection, i.e., by pointing and
tapping (cf. Appendix E.3.1
The advantage of pen gestures is that no screen space is being used by widgets such as tool bars and menus. Experienced CAD users already make use of so-called 'Marker' menus, instead of continually referring to possibly remote widget objects on screen. In the area of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), experiments are done with the iconic type of pen gestures, in that users are allowed to produce stylized scribbles which iconically depict larger graphical documents. In the user interface, a user-defined scribble then becomes the 'icon' with which the documents may be referred to in later usage. If it is on the screen, selection by tapping on the icon may be performed. However, if the icon is off the screen, the user may produce the (memorized) pen gesture to find the corresponding document. As a more specific example, in a multimedial encyclopedia, a list of pictures of castles may be produced by entering a stylized castle icon with the pen. Artists have shown interest in interfaces in which simple sketched compositions allow for the retrieval of paintings with a similar composition. Although such applications are far from possible with the current state of the art, it is one of the purposes of to explore the consequences of these ideas, and uncover basic mechanisms.
Ad 2. Handwriting as a human output channel (HOC), combined with
other forms of visible human behavior (HOC) in control and manipulation.
Although not originally foreseen, possibilities are present in the area of
teleoperation and audio control, if one combines the two-dimensional pen
movement in time with another visible signal such as the vertical distance
between upper and lower lip () as observed by a camera pointed at
the user's face. Consider for instance a robotical arm, of which the
end-effector position in two dimensions is controlled by the pen on an
electronic paper device (see 3.2.3
However, as stated earlier, the control of graphical parameters of objects visualized by the computer, by means of pen gestures, will be the main topic of research in . An interesting application refers to the use of a stylized face to represent the state of a handwriting recognition agent. Most recognition systems deliver reliability estimates for the generated word or character class hypotheses. Usually, hypotheses with a subliminal probability are rejected. The facial expression of the miniature face representing the recognizer agent may smile in the case of neat handwriting input, and frown in the case of ``Rejects''. Research will have to decide whether this information is actually picked up by the user, or is considered as irrelevant marginal graphics of an application.
Although there is a healthy trend in hiding technical details of a system
from the user, there may be system components, such as intelligent agents,
whose (intermediate) decisions have to be made explicit in meaningful ways.
The reason for this is that such decisions may be erroneous. It is
extremely demotivating for users of speech and handwriting recognition
software not to know why recognition sometimes fails. In
handwriting-visual control, the use of facial expressions in a miniature
live icon may be a good way of externalizing aspects of the internal system
state, in a non-invasive manner. Such solutions fall under the
``antropomorphic'' or ``animistic'' category, as mentioned