Prof. Dr. Patrick Baudisch

Imaginary Phone

Imaginary Phone is a research project by Sean Gustafson, Christian Holz and Patrick Baudisch. It is part of the larger Imaginary Interfaces project.

Imaginary Phone allows users to control their mobile devices without taking it out of their pocket. Instead, users mimic the interaction on the palm of their hand. The interaction is tracked by a wearable depth camera which sends input events to the actual physical device. By mimicking the layout of the physical device, here an iPhone, users can operate the device based on spatial memory built up while using the physical device. We think this can be useful for the large number of "micro interactions" that users perform every day, such as sending a call to the voice box or setting an alarm.

Walkthrough of making a call with the Imaginary Phone: (1) unlock with a swipe, (2) enter your pin, (3) select the ‘phone’ function and (4) select the first entry from the speed dial list.

Imaginary Interfaces provide the next level of convenience to users. In the past, (a) mobile devices required users to retrieve a stylus and the device and (b) current touch devices require retrieving only the device. (c) Imaginary interfaces do not require retrieving anything, so the user can begin the interaction right away.



Video of the presentation given at UIST 2011.


Gustafson, S., Holz, C., and Baudisch, P. Imaginary Phone: Learning Imaginary Interfaces by Transferring Spatial Memory from a Familiar Device. In Proceedings of UIST 2011, 283-292.

 PDF (1.6MB) | Youtube