Smart Watchface

Expanding the Input Expressivity of Smartwatches Using Mechanical Pan, Twist, Tilt, and Click


Smartwatches promise to bring enhanced convenience to common communication, creation and information retrieval tasks. Due to their prominent placement on the wrist, they must be small and otherwise unobtrusive, which limits the sophistication of interactions we can perform. We propose a complementary input approach: using the watch face as a multi-degree- of-freedom, mechanical interface. We developed a proof of concept smartwatch that supports continuous 2D panning and twist, as well as binary tilt and click. We developed a series of example applications, many of which are cumbersome – or even impossible – on today’s smartwatch devices.


Robert Xiao, Gierad Laput, and Chris Harrison. 2014. Expanding the input expressivity of smartwatches with mechanical pan, twist, tilt and click. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 193-196. DOI=