A.M. Piper, R. Campbell, and J. Hollan. Exploring the Accessibility and Appeal of Surface Computing for Older Adult Health Care Support. Proceedings of Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) 2010, 907-916.


This paper examines accessibility issues of surface computing with older adults and explores the appeal of surface computing for health care support. We present results from a study involving 20 older adults (age 60 to 88) performing gesture-based interactions on a multitouch surface. Older adults were able to successfully perform all actions on the surface computer, but some gestures that required two fingers (resize) and fine motor movement (rotate) were problematic. Ratings for ease of use and ease of performing each action as well as time required to figure out an action were similar to that of younger adults. Older adults reported that the surface computer was less intimidating, less frustrating, and less overwhelming than a traditional computer. The idea of using a surface computer for health care support was well-received by participants. We conclude with a discussion of design issues involving surface computing for older adults and use of this technology for health care.