Intimate interface: Using an EMG Controller for Mobile Devices

Toward Subtle Intimate Interfaces for Mobile Devices Using an EMG Controller by Enrico Costanza, Samuel A. Inverso, Rebecca Allen.

Using a mobile device in a social context should not cause embarrassment and disruption to the immediate environment. Interaction with mobile and wearable devices needs to be subtle, discreet and unobtrusive. Therefore, we promote the idea of “intimate interfaces”: discrete interfaces that allow control of mobile devices through subtle gestures in order to gain social acceptance. To achieve this goal, we present an electromyogram (EMG) based wearable input device which recognizes isometric muscular activity: activity related to very subtle or no movement at all. In the online experiment reported, the EMG device, worn on an armband around the bicep, was able to reliably recognize a motionless gesture without calibration or training across users with different muscle volumes. Hence, EMG-based input devices can provide an effective solution for designing mobile interfaces that are subtle and intimate, and therefore socially acceptable.

Why do I blog this? It's interesting to see how a EMG based wearable input device can be used in a mobile context. Such kind of interface appears to be promising!