New answers tagged visual-cues
The scenario says the two MODES. These modes must be indicated visually, by a color coding. Subtle changes can be missed. Here in this case, there is significant change. The UI is communicating with a physical device and in other its not. Just updating. A distinct cue of two modes with color. That will be a strong visual indication.
I agree that changing the input method for this does more harm than good. It's both inconsistent and confusing and will probably send at least some users thinking about the why. They will never guess it :). You can provide a strong visual distinction between the two modes, like a different background color for that area, and an icon for both modes, not just ...
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