Proximity-based Hand Input for Mobile Interaction

Technological advances in (depth) sensors and mobile projectors resulted in the emergence of a new class of interfaces that extend interaction to the surface of our body. These so-called on-body interfaces allow ubiquitous and mobile interaction with digital contents by sensing input and projecting graphical output on the skin. The hand and forearm receive particular attention because they are often unclothed and socially acceptable to touch. These advantages resulted in a large body of research for body-based projective, augmented or imaginary interfaces.

In most of these systems, the user's non-dominant hand acts as a two-dimensional interactive surface on which the opposing hand interacts with the content through (multi)-touch gestures. While useful and practical, the interaction space is bound to the two-dimensional surface of the hand. Moreover, this style of interaction requires both hands and therefore hardly supports situations, where users are encumbered. We believe that the large number of degrees of freedom offered by our hands and arms can support one-handed interaction styles based on proximity. We can rotate and move our hands away or towards our body or we can hold them at a specified position.

We extend the input space of prior on-body user interfaces by focusing on the degree of freedom offered by the elbow joint, i.e., flexion by moving the hand toward and extension by moving the hand away from the body. We propose to use this proximity dimension as an additional input modality for one-handed mobile interaction. The interaction space alongside the user's line of sight can be divided into multiple parallel-planes. Each plane corresponds to a layer with visual content. The user can move his hands to browse through successive layers. Beyond palm-projected interfaces, our approach can also be used as an additional input dimension for devices such as wearables or head-mounted displays with small input spaces for touch interaction. For such devices, our approach allows to expand the interaction space and provide direct manipulation.


Florian Müller, Mohammadreza Khalilbeigi, Niloofar Dezfuli, Alireza Sahami Shirazi, Sebastian Günther, and Max Mühlhäuser. 2015. A Study on Proximity-based Hand Input for One-handed Mobile Interaction. In Proceedings of the 3rd ACM Symposium on Spatial User Interaction (SUI '15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 53-56. DOI:


Florian Müller, Niloofar Dezfuli, Max Mühlhäuser, Martin Schmitz, and Mohammadreza Khalilbeigi. 2015. Palm-based Interaction with Head-mounted Displays. In Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services Adjunct (MobileHCI '15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 963-965. DOI:


Florian Müller, Sebastian Günther, Niloofar Dezfuli, Mohammadreza Khalilbeigi, and Max Mühlhäuser. 2016. ProxiWatch: Enhancing Smartwatch Interaction through Proximity-based Hand Input. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA '16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2617-2624. DOI:


Two Full Papers Accepted at CHI 2018

We will present two full papers at CHI 2018: Off-Line Sensing: Memorizing Interactions in Passive 3D-Printed ObjectsMartin Schmitz, Martin Herbers, Niloofar Dezfuli, Sebastian Günther, Max... [more]

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Full Paper Accepted at CHI 2017

We will present a full paper at CHI 2017: Flexibles: Deformation-Aware 3D-Printed Tangibles for Capacitive Touchscreens(Martin Schmitz, Jürgen Steimle, Jochen Huber, Niloofar Dezfuli & Max Mühlhäuser)  [more]

Category: Allgemeine News, Startseite


Hessian Minister for Science tested new version of TK's Smart Table, Permulin

During a recent event at the Future Innovation Lab of TU Darmstadt's spin-off company Leap-In-Time by Prof. Ruth Stock-Homburg, the Hessian Minister for Science and Arts, Boris Rhein, was one of the first to have a closer look on... [more]

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TK’s Smart Table featured in Commerzbank video about the future of work

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Three Posters Accepted at CHI 2016

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Paper Accepted at UIST 2015

We will present the following paper at UIST 2015: Capricate: A Fabrication Pipeline to Design and 3D Print Capacitive Touch Sensors for Interactive Objects(Martin Schmitz, Mohammadreza Khalilbeigi, Matthias Balwierz, Roman... [more]

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TK Receives Surface Hub Award from Microsoft Research

Microsoft Research recently developed a number of prototypes of a novel electronic whiteboard. A worldwide competition was launched where pertinent research groups could propose innovative research projects that would leverage... [more]

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