Localizing On-Body Gestures by Measuring Electrical Signatures on the Human Skin

2015.08 | MobileHCI 2015

We present Botential, an on-body interaction method for a wearable input device that can identify the location of on-body tapping gestures, using the entire human body as an interactive surface to expand the usually limited interaction space in the context of mobility. When the sensor is being touched, Botential identifies a body part’s unique electric signature, which depends on its physiological and anatomical compositions. This input method exhibits a number of advantages over previous approaches, which include: 1) utilizing the existing signal the human body already emits, to accomplish input with various body parts, 2) the ability to also sense soft and long touches, 3) an increased sensing range that covers the whole body, and 4) the ability to detect taps and hovering through clothes.


capacitive sensing, user interface, embodied interaction, on-body interaction, eyes-free, EMG, hands-free


Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services

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Denys J. C. Matthies, Simon T. Perrault, Bodo Urban, and Shengdong Zhao