We present results from an experiment examining the area occluded by the hand when using a tablet-sized direct pen input device. Our results show that the pen, hand, and forearm can occlude up to 47% of a 12 inch display. The shape of the occluded area varies between participants due to differences in pen grip rather than simply anatomical differences. For the most part, individuals adopt a consistent posture for long and short selection tasks. Overall, many occluded pixels are located higher relative to the pen than previously thought. From the experimental data, a five-parameter scalable circle and pivoting rectangle geometric model is presented which captures the general shape of the occluded area relative to the pen position. This model fits the experimental data much better than the simple bounding box model often used implicitly by designers. The space of fitted parameters also serves to quantify the shape of occlusion. Finally, an initial design for a predictive version of the model is discussed.
This work is expanded in chapters 4 and 5 of my dissertation.