Tangible interactions on smartwatches: the point of view of designers

During our research on non-visual sensory knowledge in geography and the use of wearables by visually impaired children, children expressed their interest for tangible interaction on smartwatches--and more specifically, rotary interactions. We decided to investigate the design space for these interactions, with the help of designers with various specialities (interaction designer, luxury watches designer etc).

We first looked into rotary interactions on non-interactive watches.


Over the course of this project, we designed a number of low-fidelity prototypes, as presented below.



This project is presented in a full paper, published at the 2017 conference of French Human-Computer Interaction. It proposes a design space for hardware combinations of rotary inputs and related software interactions. According to these focus groups, the combinations of rotary inputs is possible on round watches only--but other shapes of watches may benefit from the types of interactions the focus groups identified.