Elastic Cursor


My Role: Concept Creation, Research, Interaction Design, Software Prototyping


Seungcheon Baik (Assistance in Software Development)

Elastic cursor and elastic edge is new interaction techniques for seamless edge-scroll, which is especially useful for pointing devices such as wii-mote or daydream. Through the use of light-weight physical simulations of elastic behavior on interface elements, elastic cursor improves precision, usability, and cueing on the use of edge-scroll in scrollable windows or screens, and make experiences more playful and easier to learn.

Scrolling with a pointing device is challenging

In most of the edge-scroll systems, the longer the user locates the cursor at the border, the scroll speed continues to accelerate. Once the cursor hits the edge, there is no longer a relationship between the user’s motion and the speed of scrolling. Therefore, the user often cannot decelerate in time and overshoots their target in the scrolling list.

Elastic cursor attempts to give users easier and more precise control than with the previous edge-scroll techniques. Our solution is to turn a cursor and windows elastic, so that they can physically interact with one another. As a result, users can have much more visceral control over their scrolling speed.

Scrolling in a window is even more challenging

The edge-scroll method becomes particularly challenging when the user is scrolling in an area smaller than the full screen, such that a very thin margin around the scrollable area is the only edge-scrolling activation area, which the user will likely overshoot and leave the scrollable area with the cursor. By introducing elasticity in the interaction between the cursor and a window Edge users can comfortably perform edge-scroll even in an area smaller than the full screen.

The core technique of the elastic cursor is rendering the graphical cursor at a position different than the 'actual' pointer position, and mapping their distance to the scroll-speed. To understand the algorithm, please read our UIST publication linked below. Elastic Cursor has been developed into Samsung's products and platforms including 2015 Samsung TV.

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