Physical Loci:

Leveraging Spatial, Object and Semantic Memory for Command Selection

2015.04 | CHI 2015

Physical Loci, a technique based on an ancient memory technique, allows users to quickly learn a large command set by leveraging spatial, object and verbal/semantic memory to create a cognitive link between individual commands and nearby physical objects in a room (called loci). We first report on an experiment that showed that for learning 25 items Physical Loci outperformed a mid-air Marking Menu baseline. A long-term retention experiment with 48 items then showed that recall was nearly perfect one week later and, surprisingly, independent of whether the command/locus mapping was one’s own choice or somebody else’s. A final study suggested that recall performance is robust to alterations of the learned mapping, whether systematic or random.


spatial memory, input, association, memorization, method of loci, command selection, mnemonic device


Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Supplemental Material

Project Info



Simon T. Perrault, Eric Lecolinet, Yoann Pascal Bourse, Shengdong Zhao, and Yves Guiard