A 3D Interface to Improve Visual Search

Image and video retrieval tools typically use a grid-based arrangement of thumbnails - also known as Storyboard - to present the results of a query. While most users are highly accustomed to this list interface and can efficiently use it, it also holds specific limitations that hinder fast visual search. For example, at any time users can see only an excerpt of thumbnails, which makes it hard to browse long lists of results and to compare similar thumbnails that are located in different areas of the list. Moreover, this 2D list interface cannot efficiently utilize the available screen real estate, which is especially important for mobile devices (e.g., smartphones). While a few alternative interfaces have been presented in the literature, none of these interfaces has proven to really solve these limitations and to significantly improve visual search in terms of task solve time. In this talk I will present a 3D interface for image and video browsing that can significantly outperform the conventional 2D storyboard. I will explain the rationale behind this interface, its advantages for interactive search and discuss details of our findings from several user studies. Finally, I will give an outlook of how we can further improve this browsing interface and show live demonstrations of this interface, when used on tablet computers.


Klaus Schoeffmann is Assistant Professor at the ITEC institute at Klagenfurt University, Austria. He received his Ph.D. degree (Dr.techn.) from Klagenfurt University in June 2009. In his Ph.D. thesis he investigated possibilities to combine video browsing, video retrieval, and video summarization in order to allow for immediate video exploration. His current research focuses on visual content analysis and interactive video search, including user interfaces, image/video content analysis, content visualization and interaction models for video search and retrieval as well as integration of users and their potential knowledge about the content to be found. He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications on video browsing, video exploration, and video content analysis. Furthermore, he teaches various courses in Informatics (including Media Technology, Multimedia Systems, Operating Systems, Distributed Systems) and he has (co-) organized international conferences, special sessions and workshops. He is a member of the IEEE and the ACM. Furthermore, he is a regular reviewer for international conferences and journals in the field of Multimedia.