UbiTouch: Ubiquitous smartphone touchpads using built-in proximity and ambient light sensors

Elliott Wen, Winston Seah, Bryan Ng, Xuefeng Liu, Jiannong Cao

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Smart devices are increasingly shrinking in size, which results in new challenges for user-mobile interaction through minuscule touchscreens. Existing works to explore alternative interaction technologies mainly rely on external devices which degrade portability. In this paper, we propose UbiTouch, a novel system that extends smartphones with virtual touchpads on desktops using built-in smartphone sensors. It senses a user's finger movement with a proximity and ambient light sensor whose raw sensory data from underlying hardware are strongly dependent on the finger's locations. UbiTouch maps the raw data into the finger's positions by utilizing Curvilinear Component Analysis and improve tracking accuracy via a particle filter. We have evaluate our system in three scenarios with different lighting conditions by five users. The results show that UbiTouch achieves centimetre-level localization accuracy and poses no significant impact on the battery life. We envisage that UbiTouch could support applications such as textwriting and drawing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUbiComp 2016 - Proceedings of the 2016 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450344616
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 2016
Event2016 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing, UbiComp 2016 - Heidelberg, Germany
Duration: 12 Sep 201616 Sep 2016


Conference2016 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing, UbiComp 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction

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