Conductive Inkjet Printed Passive 2D TrackPad For VR Interaction

Authors:
Chuhan Gao University of Wisconsin-Madison
Xinyu Zhang University of California, San Diego
Suman Banerjee University of Wisconsin-Madison

Introduction:

Mobile virtual reality (VR) headsets barely support any user interaction. In this paper, the authors design Inkput, a simple passive interface attached to the unexploited backside of the headset to enable touch sensing.

Abstract:

Mobile virtual reality (VR) headsets, such as Google Cardboard and Samsung GearVR, can reuse a smartphone as near-eye display to create immersive experience. But such devices barely support any user interaction, even for simple tasks such as menu selection and single-character input. In this paper, we design Inkput, a simple passive interface attached to the unexploited backside of the headset to enable touch sensing. Inkput is a piece of paper substrate with carbon ink patterns printed atop. It leverages the column of electrodes near the edge of the smartphone touchscreen to sense multi-touch on the 2D space, and is even able to locate finger hovering. Our experiments demonstrate that Inkput can precisely detect touch positions with mm-level precision. Our case studies in actual VR applications also verify that Inkput can support common VR interactions and can even outperform high-end handheld controllers in terms of eficiency.

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