Proceedings: GI 2017

No Need to Stop What You’re Doing: Exploring No-Handed Smartwatch Interaction

Seongkook Heo (Autodesk Research and KAIST), Michelle Annett (Autodesk Research and University of Toronto), Benjamin Lafreniere (Autodesk Research), Tovi Grossman (Autodesk Research), George Fitzmaurice (Autodesk Research)

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2017: Edmonton, Alberta, 16-19 May 2017, 107 - 114

DOI 10.20380/GI2017.14

  • Bibtex

    author = {Heo, Seongkook and Annett, Michelle and Lafreniere, Benjamin and Grossman, Tovi and Fitzmaurice, George},
    title = {No Need to Stop What You{\textquoteright}re Doing: Exploring No-Handed Smartwatch Interaction},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2017},
    series = {GI 2017},
    year = {2017},
    issn = {0713-5424},
    isbn = {978-0-9947868-2-1},
    location = {Edmonton, Alberta},
    pages = {107 -- 114},
    numpages = {8},
    doi = {10.20380/GI2017.14},
    publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society / Soci{\'e}t{\'e} canadienne du dialogue humain-machine},
    keywords = {Smartwatch interfaces, wearables, no-handed interaction, body-based input},


Smartwatches have the potential to enable quick micro-interactions throughout daily life. However, because they require both hands to operate, their full potential is constrained, particularly in situations where the user is actively performing a task with their hands. We investigate the space of no-handed interaction with smartwatches in scenarios where one or both hands are not free. Specifically, we present a taxonomy of scenarios in which standard touchscreen interaction with smartwatches is not possible, and discuss the key constraints that limit such interaction. We then implement a set of interaction techniques and evaluate them via two user studies: one where participants viewed video clips of the techniques and another where participants used the techniques in simulated hand-constrained scenarios. Our results found a preference for foot-based interaction and reveal novel design considerations to be mindful of when designing for no-handed smartwatch interaction scenarios.