Project: Pressure Sensing Interactions

We live in an analog world, but when someone sits down at their desktop computer their current mouse only lets them make binary actions. If the mouse had been invented today, and included pressure sensitive buttons like the PS2 and Xbox360 controllers, how would the current interface paradigm change? Pressure input gives the user a continuous degree of freedom which maps well to other parameters, such as user interest and confidence. A number of general actons such as peeking, modifying, opening and selecting from pressure menus, and rate control are also well suited to pressure.

Pressure sensors can also be used to create a gestural language. Research done by us and other pressure researchers has shown that users can comfortably control 6 discrete levels of pressure. However, if the pressure space is monitored over time, a 2 dimensional pressure-time space is created. This allows for the design of pressure gestures, increasing the bandwidth of typical pressure sensors.

Contact Jared Cechanowicz if you would like more information about this project.


Jared Cechanowicz Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan


Augmented Interactions: A Framework for Adding Expressive Power to GUI Widgets
Cechanowicz, J., Gutwin, C. (2009), Proceedings of the IFIP Conference on HCI (Interact 2009), 878-891.
Augmenting the Mouse with Pressure Sensitive Input
Cechanowicz, J., Irani, P., Subramanian, S. (2007), Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2007), 1385-1394. CHI 2007 Honorable Mention Award.