HeadReach: Using Head Tracking to Increase Reachability on Mobile Touch Devices

Paper at ACM CHI '20

by Simon Voelker, Sebastian Hueber, Christian Corsten, and Christian Remy


People often operate their smartphones with only one hand, using just their thumb for touch input. With today’s larger smartphones, this leads to a reachability issue: Users can no longer comfortably touch everywhere on the screen without changing their grip. We investigate using the head tracking in modern smartphones to address this reachability issue. We developed three interaction techniques, pure head (PH), head+ touch (HT), and head area + touch (HA), to select targets beyond the reach of one’s thumb. In two user studies, we found that selecting targets using HT and HA had higher successrates than the default direct touch (DT) while standing (by about 9%) and walking (by about 12%), while being moderately slower. HT and HA were also faster than one of the best techniques, BezelCursor (BC) (by about 20% while standing and 6% while walking), while having the same success rate.









  • Simon Voelker, Sebastian Hueber, Christian Corsten and Christian Remy. HeadReach: Using Head Tracking to Increase Reachability on Mobile Touch Devices.  In Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI '20, pages 739:1–739:12, ACM, New York, NY, USA, April 2020.
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