PhoneLens: A low-cost, spatially aware, mobile-interaction device

Amin Roudaki, Jun Kong, Gursimran S. Walia, Ali Roudaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Large paper sheets are still the most preferred medium used by engineers to inspect remote sites. However, these paper documents are hard to modify and retrieve. This paper presents a novel, spatially aware, mobile system (called PhoneLens) which combines the merits of paper documents and mobile devices. It augments paper documents with digital information. Different from previous approaches, PhoneLens is inexpensive. It includes two infrared LEDs (i.e., light-emitting diodes), one Wiimote, and one Android device. Based on the hardware setting, we developed an efficient spatial-tracking algorithm to record the movement of a mobile device within a large workspace. Our approach is robust and applicable to various scenarios. PhoneLens provides different functions to browse a multivalent document, such as browsing different layers, searching annotations, and zooming. We conducted a controlled study that compared the participants' performance with PhoneLens against a traditional paper-based method with a multivalent paper document at a significance level of p < 0.05. The following results were obtained from the study: 1) PhoneLens was significantly more efficient than the paper-based method on search and measurement tasks; 2) PhoneLens was rated higher on subjects' overall experience than the paper-based method; and 3) the usefulness of the training on PhoneLens was positively correlated with subjects' browsing efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6750026
Pages (from-to)301-314
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Augmented reality
  • interactive paper
  • mobile HCI
  • spatially aware computing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Signal Processing
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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