MASA Group announced on 10 January that, in conjunction with partners Deev Interaction, it has been awarded a patent by the French National Institute of Industrial Property, covering the invention of a process for selecting a user's mode of interaction with images and videos. This new process, called the ink stain, allows users to easily switch from a direct to an indirect interaction mode with content such as a map, thereby reducing the risk of error and making it easier for users to interact with images.
Interaction with images and videos is generally achieved via one of two modes: direct interaction, which allows the user to interact with the content without modifying it, to change the scale of an image or select units for example; or indirect, in which a user performs a command, such as drawing on a map. The ink stain process removes the necessity for buttons or specific gestures to switch interaction modes and therefore reduces the risk of mode errors, which can have serious consequences for critical applications.
The process was developed through a research project funded by the French defence procurement and technology authority (DGA), with the objective of developing a command and control (C2) demonstrator, using a tactile tablet interacting with SWORD, MASA’s flagship simulation software. MASA Group aims to simplify C2 tactical systems through easy-to-use interfaces using multimodal ergonomics. As the company’s CEO, Marc de Fritsch, told MTSC at I/ITSEC in Orlando last November, “I want MASA Group to be the Windows of the constructive simulation world.”
Potentially, the ink stain process could be integrated in all tactile command systems in order to streamline the user interface as well as being integrated into SWORD’s future tactile component. "This patent […] is an important recognition of our work and ambition. MASA Group strives to continue its research and innovation efforts to provide its customers with next-generation solutions. This ink stain process will greatly improve SWORD’s customers’ experience, thanks to a user-friendly and intuitive interface, allowing users to interact with the platform easily and efficiently," Mr de Fritsch explained.