Research

Synopsis

At LiquidText, research and innovation are in our DNA. Our LiquidText technology is built on peer-reviewed, published research conducted by our founder at Georgia Tech. The genesis of this research was the exploration of more flexible ways to represent text documents, and to understand the impact of such a representation on the reading process.

At the start of the project, our background research suggested that the way that text documents are represented on a typical PC, or even paper, does not provide the flexibility people need when doing “active reading”—the kind of deep, analytical reading that involves comparison, annotation, note-taking, and the like. To take two examples, imagine trying to create an annotation that spans three different documents on a computer, or imagine comparing a half-dozen different areas of a book for consistency. It is not impossible, but it is far too challenging, especially for overburdened knowledge workers and students. In designing an alternative way to interact with documents, we explored high degree-of-freedom representations to give readers more control of the visualization, navigation, and annotation of their texts. But controlling many degrees of freedom efficiently is itself challenging, often becoming tedious and requiring many steps to make small changes. Hence, we built our system around modern multi-finger touch-screen technology. This gives the reader an expressive, gesture-based interface to provide a natural way to control various degrees of freedom in parallel—while supporting the bimanual input readers expect based on their experience with paper.

Background

The research behind LiquidText began in 2008 in the GVU Center at Georgia Tech where we spent four years developing, refining and validating it.

Documents

If you want to learn much more about the science and theory behind LiquidText, see our publications: