Brainstorming is a well-known technique (traditionally performed with pen and paper) that aims to support collaborative creativity. There exist many group support systems which are designed to optimize the creative work process. But a drawback of electronic tools is that they often cause communication breakdown through their complexity of use.
In the BrainStorm project we explore the use of large displays and several physical-world-metaphors in a Brainstorming session to facilitate face-to-face communication and to enrich the work process by providing electronic features like copying, remote sharing, saving, instant transmission, etc.
The BrainStorm System consists of at least a fullscreen tabletop user interface and a fullscreen wallsized-display user interface. At the tabletop users can create virtual Post-Its to write down their ideas or to draw freehand sketches via pen- or finger-input. The virtual Post-Its can also be shuffled towards another group member to handover an idea.
The wallsized display instantly shows all Post-Its created on the tabletop whereby all Post-Its become vertically oriented to support readability for the whole group. The principal purpose of the wallsized subsystem is to provide a surface that support active collaborative clustering and selecting of ideas.
Most of the interaction techniques in BrainStorm rely on physical interaction techniques and support modeless working. Our aim is to support the primary user activity rather than restricting the user actions through the electronic system.