Back-of-Device Force Feedback Improves Touch Screen Interaction for Mobile Devices

Jens Maiero, David Eibich, Ernst Kruijff, André Hinkenjann, Wolfgang Stuerzlinger, Hrvoje Benko, Gheorghita Ghinea
IEEE Transactions on Haptics - 2019


Touchscreen interaction suffers from occlusion problems as fingers can cover small targets, which makes interacting with such targets challenging. To improve touchscreen interaction accuracy and consequently the selection of small or hidden objects we introduce a back-of-device force feedback system for smartphones. We introduce a new solution that combines force feedback on the back to enhance touch input on the front screen. The interface includes three actuated pins at the back of a smartphone. All three pins are driven by micro servos and can be actuated up to a frequency of 50Hz and a maximum amplitude of 5mm. In a first psychophysical user study, we explored the limits of the system. Thereafter, we demonstrate through a performance study that the proposed interface can enhance touchscreen interaction precision, compared to state-of-the-art methods. In particular the selection of small targets performed remarkably well with force feedback. The study additionally shows that users subjectively felt significantly more accurate with force feedback. Based on the results, we discuss back-to-front feedback design issues and demonstrate potential applications through several prototypical concepts to illustrate where the back-of-device force feedback could be beneficial.

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BibTex references

  author       = {Maiero, Jens and Eibich, David and Kruijff, Ernst and Hinkenjann, Andr{\'e} and Stuerzlinger, Wolfgang and Benko, Hrvoje and Ghinea, Gheorghita},
  title        = {Back-of-Device Force Feedback Improves Touch Screen Interaction for Mobile Devices},
  journal      = {IEEE Transactions on Haptics},
  year         = {2019},

Other publications in the database

» Jens Maiero
» David Eibich
» Ernst Kruijff
» André Hinkenjann
» Wolfgang Stuerzlinger
» Gheorghita Ghinea