Bristol Interaction Group


Investigating the Use of Kick Gestures for Mobile Interactions


This project investigates the use of kick gestures for interaction with mobile devices.



Jason Alexander, Teng Han, William Judd, Pourang Irani, Sriram Subramanian, Putting Your Best Foot Forward: Investigating Real-World Mappings for Foot-based Gestures Proceedings of the 30th International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2012). April 2012. PDF, 771 Kbytes

Foot-based gestures have recently received attention as an alternative interaction mechanism in situations where the hands are pre-occupied or unavailable. This paper investigates suitable real-world mappings of foot gestures to invoke commands and interact with virtual workspaces. Our first study identified user preferences for mapping common mobile-device commands to gestures. We distinguish these gestures in terms of discrete and continuous command input. While discrete foot-based input has relatively few parameters to control, continuous input requires careful design considerations on how the user’s input can be mapped to a control parameter (e.g. the volume knob of the media player). We investigate this issue further through three user-studies. Our results show that rate-based techniques are significantly faster, more accurate and result if far fewer target crossings compared to displacement-based interaction. We discuss these findings and identify design recommendations.


Teng Han, Jason Alexander, Abhijit Karnik, Pourang Irani, Sriram Subramanian, Kick: Investigating the Use of Kick Gestures for Mobile Interactions, In MobileHCI 2011, to appear.

In this paper we describe the use of kick gestures for interaction with mobile devices. Kicking is a well-studied leg action that can be harnessed in mobile contexts where the hands are busy or too dirty to interact with the phone. In this paper we examine the design space of kicking as an interaction technique through two user studies. The first study investigated how well users were able to control the direction of their kicks. Users were able to aim their kicks best when the movement range is divided into segments of at least 24°. In the second study we looked at the velocity of a kick. We found that the users are able to kick with at least two varying velocities. However, they also often undershoot the target velocity. Finally, we propose some specific applications in which kicks can prove beneficial.