Using Shear as a Supplemental Input Channel for Rich Touchscreen Interaction

Touch input is constrained, typically only providing finger X/Y coordinates. To access and switch between different functions, valuable screen real estate must be allocated to buttons and menus, or users must perform special actions, such as touch-and-hold, double tap, or multi-finger chords. Even still, this only adds a few bits of additional information, leaving touch interaction unwieldy for many tasks. In this work, we suggest using a largely unutilized touch input dimension: shear (force tangential to a screen’s surface). Similar to pressure, shear can be used in concert with conventional finger positional input. However, unlike pressure, shear provides a rich, analog 2D input space, which has many powerful uses. We put forward five classes of advanced interaction that considerably expands the envelope of interaction possible on touchscreens.

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Reference

Harrison, C., and Hudson, S. E. 2012. Using Shear as a Supplemental Two-Dimensional Input Channel for Rich Touchscreen Interaction. In Proceedings of the 30th Annual SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Austin, Texas, May 5 - 10, 2012). CHI '12. ACM, New York, NY. 3149-3152.

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