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MouseField: A Simple and Versatile Input Device for Ubiquitous Computing
Last Update : 2007/5/16


Although various interaction technologies for handling information in the ubiquitous computing environment have been proposed, some techniques are too simple for performing rich interaction, and others require special expensive equipments to be installed everywhere, and cannot soon be available in our everyday environment. We propose a new simple and versatile input device called the MouseField, which enables users to control various information appliances easily without huge amount of cost.
A MouseField consists of an ID recognizer and motion sensors that can detect an object and its movement after the object is placed on it. The system can interpret the user's action as a command to control the flow of information.

"Placing" (detecting an object)
"Moving" (detecting its movement)

Fig. 1. Basic concept of MouseField (Demo videos are here


We introduce a robust and versatile input device called the MouseField, that can be used at almost any place for controlling information appliances. MouseField is a device which combines an ID reader and motion sensing devices into one package.

Figure 2 shows an implementation of MouseField, which consists of two motion sensors (taken from standard optical mouses) and an RFID reader (Texas Instruments S2000 Micro Reader) hidden under the surface. The RFID reader and the two optical mouses are connected to a PC through a USB cable, and they can detect the ID and the motion of the object put on the device. When a user puts an object with an RFID on the MouseField, it first detects what was put on the RFID reader. When the user moves or rotates the object, motion sensors detects the direction and rotation of the object.

Front view Back view
Fig. 2 Implementation of a MouseField Device.


Figure 3 shows how a user can enjoy music using a MouseField and CD jackets which represent the music in the CD. All the music in the CD are saved in a music server, and an RFID tag is attached to each CD jacket. When a user places a CD jacket on the MouseField, a music player is displayed on the screen, shows the contents of the CD, and starts playing the music. The user can change the sound volume by rotating the CD jacket, and move to the next or previous music by sliding the jacket to the front or to the back. When the user removes the jacket from the MouseField, the sound stops and a screen saver is displayed placing a CD jacket starts playing music sliding the CD jacket plays the next music rotating the CD jacket changes the sound volume on the screen (Figure 3). The music player is not only very simple to use, but also it allows users to control various parameters without using special controllers.

Fig. 3. A Music Player with MouseField.
Fig. 4. Controlling the Music Player

Demo videos

- Controlling music and movie with the MouseField.

mousefield-all.mp4 (MP4,640 x 480, 45 sec,8.3M)

-Controlling a music player with mousefield.

mousefield.mp4 (MP4,640 x 480, 45 sec,8.3M)

#You can play these videos with QuickTimePlayer6.0 or later.



I have developed the MouseField System with Toshiyuki Masui (AIST) and Itiro Siio (Tamagawa University) .

  • Masui, T. , Tsukada, K. and Siio, I. : MouseField: A Simple and Versatile Input Device for Ubiquitous Computing, UbiComp2004, Springer LNCS3205, pp.319-328 (2004). [PDF]