Augmenting Bend Gestures with Pressure Zones on Flexible Displays

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Projects

Project Type: Directed Study
Supervisor: Dr. Audrey Girouard
Project Components: Flexible Displays, Pressure Sensors, Arduino Microcontroller
In-depth details:  Mobile HCI Research Paper

Introduction

Flexible displays are an emergent technology that has inspired researchers to explore interaction techniques such as bending, twisting and crumpling. As these applications become more complex, the number of bend gestures necessary for interaction will increase.

Goals

Our research goal is to reduce the amount of bends a prototype might have to support while keeping the directionality and tangibility bend gestures provide. We define new interaction styles, compare them with bend only gestures and determine user preference.

Prototypes

Exploded View
Exploded View

Interaction Styles

1. Pressure to change the behaviour of bend gestures
One bend gesture is used to activate different functions according to the pressure sensor touched.

2. Pressure to change the intensity of bend gestures
One bend gesture triggers the same action at different intensities, depending on the pressure sensor activated.

3. Varying Pressure to change the behaviour of bend gestures
One bend gesture triggers the same action at different intensities, depending on force exerted on the pressure sensor.

Results and Discussion

  • 84% of participants preferred the “bend only” prototype.
  • 72% enjoyed the applications on the bend and pressure device.
  • 84% participants agreed or strongly agreed to having enjoyed using the lock/unlock prototype on both prototypes
  1. Single vs Coupled Actions
    The coupled actions (press + bend) took longer to complete and made users more prone to errors.
  2. Remembering Actions
    Participants seemed to regularly forget the functionality of the pressure zones. Half of participants agreed that gestures were easy to remember on for the pressure & bend prototype.
  3. Touch vs Pressure
    We believe that pressure sensors, specifically, force-sensing resistors, present a poor simulations of touch interactions. However, the results for lock/unlock application suggest that pressure is appropriate when there is a need for an extra dimension of input.

Conclusion

Despite the overall preference for the “bend only” prototype and the issues that occurred with our prototype, our results (72% satisfaction level) suggest the potential of our interaction styles. Thus, we believe that the combination of bend and touch gestures is a valid input method. Future work includes augmenting pressures areas with resistive or capacitive touch areas to allow for reliable touch and pressure input.

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