Single Display Groupware (SDG) is a research area that focuses on providing collaborative computing environments. Traditionally, most hardware platforms for SDG support only one person interacting at any given time, which limits collaboration. In this paper, we present laser pointers as input devices that can provide concurrent input streams ideally required to the SDG environment.
First, we discuss several issues related to utilization of laser pointers and present the new concept of computer controlled laser pointers. Then we briefly present a performance evaluation of laser pointers as input devices and a baseline comparison with the mouse according to the ISO 9241-9 standard.
Finally, we describe a new system that uses multiple computer controlled laser pointers as interaction devices for one or more displays. Several alternatives for distinguishing between different laser pointers are presented, and an implementation of one of them is demonstrated with SDG applications.