Pen-based Interaction with Spreadsheets in Mobile Virtual Reality


Virtual Reality (VR) can enhance the display and interaction of mobile knowledge work and in particular, spreadsheet applications. While spreadsheets are widely used yet are challenging to interact with, especially on mobile devices, using them in VR has not been explored in depth. A special uniqueness of the domain is the contrast between the immersive and large display space afforded by VR, and the limited interaction space that may be afforded for the information worker on the go, such as an airplane seat or a small work-space. To close this gap, we present a tool-set for enhancing spreadsheet interaction on tablets using immersive VR headsets and pen-based input. This combination opens up many possibilities for enhancing the productivity for spreadsheet interaction.

We propose to use the space around and in front of the tablet for enhanced visualization of spreadsheet data and meta-data. For example, extending sheet display beyond the bounds of the physical screen, or easier debugging by uncovering hidden dependencies between sheet's cells. Combining the precise on-screen input of a pen with spatial sensing around the tablet, we propose tools for the efficient creation and editing of spreadsheets functions such as off-the-screen layered menus, visualization of sheets dependencies, and \hl{gaze-and-touch-based} switching between spreadsheet tabs. We study the feasibility of the proposed tool-set using a video-based online survey and an expert-based assessment of indicative human performance potential.




Presentation at IEEE ISMAR 2020


The code for our mobile implementation is available under

Press reports


Travis Gesslein, Verena Biener, Philipp Gagel, Daniel Schneider, Per Ola Kristensson, Eyal Ofek, Michel Pahud & Jens Grubert. Pen-based Interaction with Spreadsheets in Mobile Virtual Reality. In Proceedings of the 2020 IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR 2020). arxiv preprint