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    Haptic and Visual Rendering for Multi-Modal Exploration of Molecular Information

    People and Computers XXIV Games are a Serious Business

    Proceedings of HCI 2010
    The 24th British HCI Group Annual Conference
    University of Abertay, Dundee, UK

    6 - 10 September 2010


    Sara Comai and Davide Mazza


    The paper presents a system for the multi-modal rendering of molecules. Chemists typically deal with phenomena that are not directly experienceable and usually described by huge amount of data awkward to understand directly. Software tools have been introduced to support data interpretation, without a high degree of interactivity and explorability of the data. This work goes beyond the classical visual representations of molecules and introduces some new ways of exploration and navigation of information on which inter-molecular interactions are based. Target users are researchers and teachers, as integration to their activities. Two different modalities are used: haptical and visual. The former modality consists in the addition of a haptic interface that enables users to feel the interaction forces exerted by the electric field around a molecule. The latter modality shows the features of the same electric field by allowing the user to navigate the information about the values of the field using a visual color-based rendering and adding other visual cues. Implementation details, case studies, and results on the two modalities are described. Eye-tracking, awareness tools, machine learning, coordination, expertise.


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