Contact-free Interaction with Mobile Devices using Magnetic, Lighting and Infrared Sources

Sandi Ljubic, Damir Arbula


In the area of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), the concept of Around Device Interaction (ADI) is gaining special attention nowadays. It provides the possibility of interacting with the device by making use of gestures made in the surrounding space, as well as by detecting certain ambient changes, thus eliminating the need of direct physical contact. Contact-free interaction can be useful for wearable and smart devices, especially in cases where operating with small buttons and touchscreens appears to be particularly inconvenient. This paper presents alternative techniques for smartphone interaction based on different sensory inputs. Namely, external sources of magnetic field, light, and infrared (IR) signals are used to manipulate device sensors' readings which are in turn interpreted as the corresponding interaction commands. Proof-of-concept mobile applications are developed and here presented, demonstrating both the potentials and utility of the contact-free interaction. Specifically, small neodymium magnet was used for smartphone text entry, typical battery flashlight served for sending information to device via Morse code, as well as for alarm triggering, and voice-enabled control device was utilized for invoking smartphone calls from a distance. The presented interaction techniques do not require smartphone hardware alterations. While the usage of built-in magnetic field and ambient light sensors is assumed, peripheral infrared receiver can be used in order to provide IR-based support.


Around Device Interaction (ADI); Human-Computer Interaction (HCI); mobile devices; sensor-based interaction

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International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies (iJIM) – eISSN: 1865-7923
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