Laboratory of Informatics of Grenoble Engineering Human-Computer Interaction Research Group

Engineering Human-Computer Interaction
Research Group

Did “Minority Report” Get it Wrong? Superiority of the Mouse over 3D Input in a 3D Placement Task

In Conference Proceedings of INTERACT ’09, the Twelfth IFIP TC13 International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, Springer LNCS (Lecture Notes in Computer Science). pages 400--414. 2009.

François Bérard, Jessica Ip, Mitchel Benovoy, Dalia El-Shimy, Jeffrey R. Blum, Jeremy R. Cooperstock


Numerous devices have been invented with three or more degrees of freedom (DoF) to compensate for the assumed limitations of the 2 DoF mouse in the execution of 3D tasks. Nevertheless, the mouse remains the dominant input device in desktop 3D applications, which leads us to pose the following question: is the dominance of the mouse due simply to its widespread availability and long-term user habituation, or is the mouse, in fact, more suitable than dedicated 3D input devices to an important subset of 3D tasks? In the two studies reported in this paper, we measured performance efficiency of a group of subjects in accomplishing a 3D placement task and also observed physiological indicators through biosignal measurements. Subjects used both a standard 2D mouse and three other 3 DoF input devices. Much to our surprise, the standard 2D mouse outperformed the 3D input devices in both studies.