back-of-device interfaces

I was poking around the other day and I found this coverage of CHI 2009. A bunch of my friends are HCI researchers and were there, so I’ll need to hit them up for more details, but the back-of-device interfaces are looking way cooler than they did the last time I saw them.

With the preponderance of touchscreen things happening these days, I can say that it’s really hard to hit any button that’s smaller than about a dime, which is a pretty big space given how small the devices are.

It seems to really present a better technique to get control over using touchscreen devices. I can’t tell you how often I can’t quite get the right spot on my Palm Centro and it takes me two or 3 silly stabs with my finger to press the link or button that I want.

I’m curious what the constraints on the device be though when both the front and back surface matter for input and output. It’s essentially removing a degree of freedom from the design of the device by requiring that the back be touch sensitive and presumably flat in the area behind the actual screen.

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