[UIST’16] Gaze and Touch Interaction on Tablets

Another design space exploration for gaze input. Here it’s about how gaze can support touch interaction on tablets. When holding the device, the free thumb is normally limited in reach, but can provide an opportunity for indirect touch input. Here we propose gaze and touch input, where touches redirect to the gaze target. This provides whole-screen reachability while only using a single hand for both holding and input.

There can be various grips, of which one of the most common are the following illustrated. In these grips, additional eye gaze input can help users to interact with the whole screen.


We compared this gaze based technique to default direct touch input. See paper for details. Most interesting result was that gaze input 1) has significantly lower fatigue, as users only need to use 1 hand, and 2) most users therefore also preferred to use the gaze technique for the investigated task.


Even though users were actually slower with gaze.


To show use cases, I build detailed applications on how this interaction concept can be enabled for a Browser, Maps, and Gallery application. Examples:




Another contribution is the CursorShift concept. In essence, it allows users to temporarily instance a cursor to perform precise interactions across the screen, from the grip position.

How to use CursorShift
Internal state model of CursorShift


We present a user study comparing this technique to direct-touch, showing that users are slightly slower but can utilise one-handed use with less physical effort. To enable interaction with small targets, we introduce CursorShift, a method that uses gaze to provide users temporal control over cursors during direct-touch interactions. Taken together, users can employ three techniques on tablets: direct-touch, gaze and touch, and cursor input. In three applications, we explore how these techniques can coexist in the same UI and demonstrate how tablet tasks can be performed with thumb-only input of the holding hand, and with it describe novel interaction techniques for gaze based tablet interaction.

Gaze and Touch Interaction on Tablets
Ken Pfeuffer and Hans Gellersen. 2016. In Proceedings of the 29th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology (UIST ’16). ACM, Tokio, Japan. 301-311, pdf, video, doi, talk

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