EarPut: Augmenting Ear-worn Devices for Ear-based Interaction

Author:Roman Lissermann, Jochen Huber, Aristotelis Hadjakos, Suranga Nanayakkara,Max Mühlhäuser
Book title:Proceedings of the 26th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference on Designing Futures - the Future of Design, OZCHI '14, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, December 2-5, 2014
Research Area(s):Telecooperation
Research Subarea(s):- TI: Interactive Surfaces, Computer Vision
Abstract:One of the pervasive challenges in mobile interaction is decreasing the visual demand of interfaces towards eyes-free interaction. In this paper, we focus on the unique affordances of the human ear to support one-handed and eyes-free mobile interaction. We present EarPut, a novel interface concept and hardware prototype, which unobtrusively augments a variety of accessories that are worn behind the ear (e.g. headsets or glasses) to instrument the human ear as an interactive surface. The contribution of this paper is three-fold. We contribute (i) results from a controlled experiment with 27 participants, providing empirical evidence that people are able to target salient regions on their ear effectively and precisely, (ii) a first, systematically derived design space for ear-based interaction and (iii) a set of proof of concept EarPut applications that leverage on the design space and embrace mobile media navigation, mobile gaming and smart home interaction.
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