“SmartPad”

“…A Finger-Sensing Keypad for Mobile Interaction”

by Jun Rekimoto, Takaaki Ishizawa, Haruo Oba (CHI 2003)

  1. “…a new input device for mobile computers that is an enhanced physical keypad by a finger position sensor.”
  2. “…combines two input sensors; one is a normal physical keypad, and the other is a finger position sensor based on capacitive sensing.”
  3. Based on “smartskin”: a wire grid that provides touch sensing through capacitive proximity sensing.
  4. Could be used for gesture input on the keypad (sliding across keys, virtual jog wheel like an iPod).
  5. “While these devices use additional sensor as a new (separated) input mode, we are more interested in enhancing existing input device (e.g., keypad) by sensors.
  6. “Preview is much more important in the physical world than GUI, because undoing is often unavailable.” Referring to the idea of predicting which button will be pushed and then providing preview information before pressing it.

My thoughts:

  • This was going to be my next physical prototype: adding touch sensitivity to the form factor of a keypad on a mobile phone. Their implementation of the idea is different though. They place a grid of sensors between the keys, whereas I wanted to add multiple touch sensitive points to the top of each key on the keypad. (See my TRKMBL sketch)
  • #5 illustrates a difference¬†in their motivation and my motivation, within the design framing. I am looking to create additional interfaces of interaction within a stacked device, where they are looking to enhance an interface.
  • Their “smartskin” grid of sensors is exactly like an idea that came to me late at night while laying in bed. I was trying to think of a smarter way to create a large field of touch sensors while keeping logical control over the number of sensors that would be necessary to create it.
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