Personal Clipboards

Personal Clipboards for Individual Copy-and-Paste
on Shared Multi-User Surfaces

The copy-and-paste functionalities provided by clipboards are omnipresent on today’s computing devices from desktops to tablets to mobile phones. Despite this success, clipboards did not make their way to multi-user surfaces until now, because most surface computing devices cannot distinguish input from different users. To them, all touches look essentially the same, which makes it impossible to assign copy-and-paste activities to the correct users.

We therefore leverage complementary personalization strategies and have developed three personal clipboard systems for surface computing : A context menu clipboard based on implicit user identification of every touch (using IdWristbands), a clipboard based on personal subareas dynamically placed on the surface (using HandsDown), and a handheld clipboard based on integration of personal devices for surface interaction (using PhoneTouch).


Conceptually, personal clipboards provide individual spaces that are exclusive to their user, within the larger shared workspace. This enables users to copy and paste items independently without interference. Moreover, users can interleave individual tasks and group tasks. Like traditional clipboards, personal clipboards reside in the background without permanently occupying surface space, but are directly accessible in the flow of touch interaction to select items to be copied, or locations for pasting.

In a user study, we demonstrate that personal clipboards allow for directly carrying over familiar copy-and-paste semantics to shared surfaces, while preserving the unique advantages of traditional clipboards. Our study also provides a direct comparison of distinct personalization strategies for surface computing. We show that all studied strategies facilitate the effective use of personal clipboards, but impact surface interaction differently


Related Publications

  • Schmidt, D., Sas, C., Gellersen, H.
    Personal Clipboards for Individual Copy-and-Paste on Shared Multi-User Surfaces
    In Proceedings of CHI 2013, pp. 3335-3344
    PDF | YouTube