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Glossary » Multimedia


an input method commonly used in pen-based systems -or- a physical movement used in communication such as a hand motion or a facial expression.

1. input method – gestures are pen movements that can be recognized as various symbols…

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a view that automatically closes after a brief delay, thus freeing the user from the overhead of determining when and how to close the view. Used in videoconferencing, a glance enables a person to quickly check on the availability of…

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a miniature view of the principal axes in a 3D coordinate system used to indicate the orientation of the current view in a 3D graphics system. (originally referred to the shadow of the pointer on a sundial)

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head-mounted display

HMD; a computer monitor or other display (such as an LED readout) that can be worn on the head so that a user can view it without looking away from the surrounding environment and without having to hold the display,…

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immersive interfaces

an interface that heavily involves users by bringing them into the world of the interface both conceptually and perceptually, as in virtual reality, e.g. by surrounding their visual senses (as with VR glasses), giving them stereo sound, and providing an…

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information visualization

the study of how to effectively present information visually. Much of the work in this field focuses on creating innovative graphical displays for complicated datasets, such as census results, scientific data, and databases. An example problem would be deciding how…

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the property of a perceptual signal that enables it to draw attention from other activities. Perceptually, a sound or a bright flash can draw attention from people even when they are attending to something else. This property is useful for…

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1. (computer graphics) the dotted-line that appears around drawings when they are selected in drawing programs. When animated, a marquee is often referred to as the “marching ants”.

2. (graphic design) a hilited area, usually the focal point of a…

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multimedia is typically used to refer to the use of any dynamic media: audio, video, or animation. When used in this sense, there are numerous issues in how people deal with motion, timing, change, and ephemerality.

Strictly speaking, multimedia refers…

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open captions

like closed captions, open captions present text that represents the audio portion of a video, except open captions are displayed explicitly on the screen.

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an alternative to scrolling for moving the viewed area within a window – the user drags the view (and usually the pointer changes to a flat hand) in 2 dimensions (instead of the 1-dimensional scrollbar).

In video, panning refers to…

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pause removal

in auditory interfaces, speech and other recordings can be shortened by removing empty spaces where only background noise is heard. This speeds up playback when the audio is reviewed.

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perspective wall

a way of densely displaying large amounts of information by placing information on a flat plane which is tilted into the screen so that it shrinks back toward infinity. More important items (such as upcoming dates on a calendar) can…

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actions that occur as a user moves a pointer over objects, such as the hiliting of buttons as a user moves over them, in order to indicate that they are clickable, and also sometimes used to provide additional information (such…

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scientific visualization

the graphical representation of complex physical phenomena in order to assist scientific investigation and to make inferences that aren’t apparent in numerical form. Typical examples include processing of satellite photographs and 3D representations of molecules and fluids to examine their…

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screen reader

a program that reads out a computer display for the visually-impaired or for those who do not have access to a monitor. The screen reader can read text that appears in a standard way in dialog boxes, menus, icons, and…

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(multimedia) a specification used to generate a multimedia presentation. The script contains all the details of each shot and scene, usually along with a storyboard. The script contains drafts of all text, graphics, and other media and their timing, interaction,…

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seizure disorder

in some types of epilepsy, a seizure can result from the presentation of a rapidly-varying stimulus, such as flashing lights and repetitive sounds. Thus, interfaces should avoid strobe effects, blinking effects, and repetitive noises. In most interfaces, these are likely…

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sensory modality

A communication channel associated with one of the human senses of sound, vision, touch, smell or taste. As used in discussing usability this may imply input to and output from the computer as well as the human user. E.g., the…

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simulator sickness

virtual environment sickness or cybersickness; an adverse reaction to immersion in a 3D virtual environment characterized by symptoms of nausea, motion sickness, disorientation, and loss of control over movement. This reaction is typically explained by sensory conflict theory, the idea…

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slow in and slow out

in animation, the acceleration and deceleration of action, i.e. the way that an action begins slowly, moves quickly through the main action, and then slows down as it comes to a stop rather than moving linearly from one position to…

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(groupware) a quick photo of another person that updates periodically to provide a basic awareness of their presence. (Also called a “porthole”.)

Snapshots are vaguely similar to a videoconference, except that no audio is provided, the frame rate is intentionally…

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speech-to-text system

a type of voice-recognition system – it converts spoken language to text. Useful for text entry and command entry, especially for people whose hands are busy with other tasks and for people with motor impairments.

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spoken language interface

a user interface where the user can, at a minimum, issue spoken commands, and optimally, conduct all interaction with the computer via speech. Speech systems are differentiated by:

how restrictive they are in what style of speech they can recognize,

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an operating system capability that allows programmers to easily create independent graphical objects (“sprites”) that can move around the screen. A sprite automatically handles redrawing areas of the screen that it crosses over, saving the programmer from worrying about updating…

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