StretchAR: Exploiting Touch and Stretch as a Method of Interaction for Smart Glasses Using Wearable Straps

by | Oct 10, 2022

Authors: Luis Paredes, Ananya Ipsita, Juan C. Mesa, Ramses V. Martinez Garrido, Karthik Ramani
Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies, 6(3), 1-26

Over the past decade, augmented reality (AR) developers have explored a variety of approaches to allow users to interact with the information displayed on smart glasses and head-mounted displays (HMDs). Current interaction modalities such as mid-air gestures, voice commands, or hand-held controllers provide a limited range of interactions with the virtual content. Additionally, these modalities can also be exhausting, uncomfortable, obtrusive, and socially awkward. There is a need to introduce comfortable interaction techniques for smart glasses and HMDS without the need for visual attention. This paper presents StretchAR, wearable straps that exploit touch and stretch as input modalities to interact with the virtual content displayed on smart glasses. StretchAR straps are thin, lightweight, and can be attached to existing garments to enhance users’ interactions in AR. StretchAR straps can withstand strains up to 190% while remaining sensitive to touch inputs. The strap allows the effective combination of these inputs as a mode of interaction with the content displayed through AR widgets, maps, menus, social media, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Furthermore, we conducted a user study with 15 participants to determine the potential implications of the use of StretchAR as input modalities when placed on four different body locations (head, chest, forearm, and wrist). This study reveals that StretchAR can be used as an efficient and convenient input modality for smart glasses with a 96% accuracy. Additionally, we provide a collection of 28 interactions enabled by the simultaneous touch-stretch capabilities of StretchAR. Finally, we facilitate recommendation guidelines for the design, fabrication, placement, and possible applications of StretchAR as an interaction modality for AR content displayed on smart glasses.

Luis Paredes

Luis Paredes

Luis is a PhD student in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. He completed his undergraduate studies in Electric and Control Engineering at Escuela Politecnica Nacional from Ecuador. He also made an internship at Computer Science, Purdue University (2013). He joined the C Design Lab in Summer 2015 during his Master's program at Purdue University. His research focuses on facilitating access to knowledge, design & fabrication methods, and interactions with wearables. His research interests are product development, interaction methods, tangible and wearable user interfaces, prototyping, digital fabrication, customizable products, and mixing art with engineering.