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FlexCase - Enhancing Mobile Interaction with a Flexible Sensing and Display Cover (CHI 2016)

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Published on Mar 25, 2016

FlexCase is a novel flip cover for smartphones, which brings flexible input and output capabilities to existing mobile phones. It combines an e-paper display with a pressure- and bend-sensitive input sensor to augment the capabilities of a phone. Due to the form factor, FlexCase can be easily transformed into several different configurations, each with different interaction possibilities. We can use FlexCase to perform a variety of touch, pressure, grip and bend gestures in a natural manner, much like interacting with a sheet of paper. The secondary e-paper display can act as a mechanism for providing user feedback and persisting content from the main display. In this paper, we explore the rich design space of FlexCase and present a number of different interaction techniques. Beyond, we highlight how touch and flex sensing can be combined to support a novel type of gestures, which we call Grip & Bend. We also describe the underlying technology and gesture sensing algorithms. Numerous applications apply the interaction techniques in real-world examples, including enhanced e-paper reading and interaction, a new copy-and-paste metaphor, high degree of freedom 3D and 2D manipulation, and the ability to transfer content and support input between displays in a natural and flexible manner.

Authors:

Christian Rendl (1), David Kim (2), Patrick Parzer (1), Sean Fanello (2), Martin Zirkl (3), Gregor Scheipl (3), Michael Haller (1), and Shahram Izadi (2)

(1) Media Interaction Lab, University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria
(2) Microsoft Research, Redmond, WA, USA
(3) Institute of Surface Technologies and Photonics, Joanneum Research

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