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With physical mobile interaction techniques, digital devices can make use of real-world objects in order to interact with them. In this paper, we evaluate and compare state-of-the-art interaction methods in an extensive survey with 149 participants and in a lab study with 16 participants regarding efficiency, utility and usability. Besides radio communication and fiducial markers, we consider visual feature recognition, reflecting the latest technical expertise in object identification. We conceived MobiMed, a medication package identifier implementing four interaction paradigms: pointing, scanning, touching and text search.
We identified both measured and perceived advantages and disadvantages of the individual methods and gained fruitful feedback from participants regarding possible use cases for MobiMed. Touching and scanning were evaluated as fastest in the lab study and ranked first in user satisfaction. The strength of visual search is that objects need not be augmented, opening up physical mobile interaction as demon- strated in MobiMed for further fields of application.