Existing smartwatches rely on touchscreens for display and input, which inevitably leads to finger occlusion and con-fines interactivity to a small area. In this work, we introduce AuraSense, which enables rich, around-device, smartwatch interactions using electric field sensing. To explore how this sensing approach could enhance smartwatch interactions, we considered different antenna configurations and how they could enable useful interaction modalities. We identified four configurations that can support six well-known modalities of particular interest and utility, including gestures above the watchface and touchscreen-like finger tracking on the skin. We quantify the feasibility of these input modalities in a series of user studies, which suggest that AuraSense can be low latency and robust across both users and environments.
Junhan Zhou, Yang Zhang, Gierad Laput, and Chris Harrison. 2016. AuraSense: Enabling Expressive Around-Smartwatch Interactions with Electric Field Sensing. In Proceedings of the 29th Annual Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST '16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 81-86. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2984511.2984568