The PhotoHelix project is one instantiation of a series of hybrids that are currently under development. PhotoHelix is an application that allows multiple users to browse, organize and share digital picture collections. It is based on the individual interface concept and uses a hybrid consisting of a knob-shaped physical object and a spiral-shaped virtual part around it.
The system uses the notion of time and events to organize and pre-cluster collections. In PhotoHelix the virtual interface part is a helix-shaped timeline, which can contain both the images in the users’ private collection and the images from the selected pile. The images are sorted according to their date of creation.
Events and pictures are accessed, manipulated and inspected using a hybrid, bi-manual interaction technique. The non-dominant hand operates the physical handle to position and control the calendar view (rotation adjusts the time setting). The non-dominant hand is used to inspect and modify events (e.g., to create temporal structures for storytelling) as well as individual pictures for browsing and sharing purposes.
PhotoHelix has been implemented in Java and utilizes the Piccolo framework for the virtual part of the hybrid. The whole application is deployed on a table with a built-in LCD monitor that is equipped with a DViT overlay for interactivity.