What is a device bend gesture really good for?

Device deformation allows new types of gestures to be used in interaction. We identify that the gesture/use-case pairings proposed by interaction designers are often driven by factors relating improved tangibility, spatial directionality and strong metaphorical bonds. With this starting point, we argue that some of the designs may not make use of the full potential of deformation gestures as continuous, bipolar input techniques. In two user studies, we revisited the basics of deformation input by taking a new systematic look at the question of matching gestures with use cases. We observed comparable levels of UX when using bend input in different continuous bipolar interactions, irrespective of the choice of tangibility, directionality and metaphor. We concluded that device bend gestures use their full potential when used to control continuous bipolar parameters, and when quick reactions are needed. From our studies, we also identify relative strengths of absolute and relative mappings, and report a Fitts’ law study for device bending input.

Credits: Ahmaniemi et al. 2014


Teemu T. Ahmaniemi, Johan Kildal, and Merja Haveri. 2014. What is a device bend gesture really good for?. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 3503-3512. DOI=http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2556288.2557306

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