UbiTap: Leveraging Acoustic Dispersion For Ubiquitous Touch Interface On Solid Surfaces

Authors:
Hyosu Kim KAIST
Anish Byanjankar KAIST
Yunxin Liu Microsoft Research
Yuanchao Shu Microsoft Research
Insik Shin KAIST

Introduction:

this paper studies ubiquitous computing interfaces.the authors propose UbiTap, an input method that turns solid surfaces into a touch input space, through the use of sound.

Abstract:

With the omnipresence of computing devices in our daily lives, interests in ubiquitous computing interfaces have grown. In response to this, various studies have introduced on-surface input techniques which use the surfaces of surrounding objects as a touch interface. However, these methods are yet struggling to support ubiquitous interaction due to their dependency on specific hardware or environments. In this paper, we propose UbiTap, an input method that turns solid surfaces into a touch input space, through the use of sound (i.e., with microphones already present in the commodity devices). More specifically, we develop a novel touch localization technique which leverages the physical phenomenon, referred to as dispersion, a characteristic of sound as it travels through solid surfaces, so as to address challenges which limit existing acoustic-based solutions in terms of portability, accuracy, usability, robustness, and responsiveness. Our extensive experiments with a prototype of UbiTap show that we can support sub-centimeter accuracy on various surfaces with minor user calibration efort. In our experience with real-world users, UbiTap significantly improves usability and robustness, thus enabling the emergence of more exciting applications.

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