Touch sensing surfaces have evolved the way that humans interact with computing devices for years. Touch screens allow humans to interact with computers directly by fingers in more natural way instead of using the traditional user I/O devices like keyboards, and mice.
Despite tremendous progress in developing touch-based technologies, this form of human-computer interaction (HCl) depends primarily on the human factors such as size of users’ fingertips.
While many computing devices are continuously decreasing in size, their touch screens interface cannot be scaled smaller due to the surface area required for user interactions. On the other hand, touch-based interactions occlude parts of the display screen that reducing the usability of the computing devices.
To address these limitations, Around Device Interaction (ADI) techniques have been recently introduced that provide possibility of extending interaction space beyond the physical boundary of the computing devices.
However, most of the current ADI systems are restricted to the immediate space around the devices and support only 1D or 2D gesture commands that prevent the user to interact with smart environments in more natural ways. On the other hand, users are required to perform hands or body movements in the direct line of sight of sensors (e.g. Kinect).
In this paper, we introduce a new ADI input device called Pingu in the form factor of a fingering that allows users to interact with any nearby computing device with wireless connectivity in a ubiquitous environment.
Fingering form-factor is chosen for our prototype design, as it is socially acceptable and is commonly worn in everyday social contexts, and based on the previous research, the information entropy of interaction by fingers is greater than the entropy for any other parts of the human body.
The current Pingu prototype is consisted of an extensive set of sensors, visual and vibro-tactile feedback mechanisms with wireless connectivity that make it a unique input device for human-computer or human-human interaction in the form of gestures, tactile and touch.
Its usage can range from advanced, tiny and novel gestural interaction with a variety of devices to mobile and networked sensing, and social computing. We present a few potential applications of Pingu such as social interaction, context recognition, in-car interaction, and physical activity analysis.
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