Touches between the fingers of an unencumbered hand represent a ready-to-use, eyes-free and expressive input space suitable for interacting with wearable devices such as smart glasses or watches. While prior work has focused on touches to the inner surface of the hand, touches to the nails, a practical site for mounting sensing hardware, have been comparatively overlooked. We extend prior implementations of single touch sensing nails to a full set of five and explore their potential for wearable input. We present design ideas and an input space of 144 touches (taps, flicks and swipes) derived from an ideation workshop. We complement this with data from two studies characterizing the subjective comfort and objective characteristics (task time, accuracy) of each touch. We conclude by synthesizing this material into a set of 29 viable nail touches, assessing their performance in a final study and illustrating how they could be used by presenting, and qualitatively evaluating, two example applications.
The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems