Considerations on using a lightpen-interactive system with young children

Research paper by S. E. Avons, M. C. Beveridge, A. T. Hickman, G. J. Hitch

Indexed on: 01 Jan '83Published on: 01 Jan '83Published in: Behavior Research Methods


The lightpen is a simple interactive device allowing easy communication between a naive user and a computer. Very young children (4–6 years old) can use a lightpen interactively to pick out targets displayed on a VDU. Accuracy of target selection and stability of pointing with the lightpen was measured in these young children, and also in an older group of children (10–11 years old), who showed superior performance on both measures. In the younger group, both postural factors and physical fatigue sometimes affected lightpen handling. However, children of both age groups failed to compensate for parallax near the edges of the curved display screen. Recommendations are made for the programming and design of lightpen-interactive displays.