Back-of-Device Gestures for Mobile Interaction

Currently, my graduate students and I are applying a similar methodology to my motion gesture work in order to examine users’ current mental model of how gestures can be used for an additional input modality for mobile interaction. Our initial study examined the use of back of the device gestures (i.e., gestures performed on the back of a smartphone) as a means for addressing the limited thumb reachability problem, the problem amounting from a user’s attempt to reach to an area of a smartphone screen with their thumb. This problem is exasperated by the current trend of smartphone screens increasing in size. The findings of this study highlight common user motivations of wanting to prevent accidental input and the reliance on mimicking current touchscreen gestures.

Exploring User-Defined Back-Of-Device Gestures for Mobile Devices
Shaikh Shawon Arefin Shimon, Sarah Morrison-Smith, Noah John, Ghazal Fahimi, and Jaime Ruiz. 2015. In Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (MobileHCI '15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 227-232.