PointPose: Finger Pose Estimation for Touch Input on Mobile Devices using a Depth Sensor

Abstract

The expressiveness of touch input can be increased by detecting additional finger pose information at the point of touch such as finger rotation and tilt. PointPose is a prototype that performs finger pose estimation at the location of touch using a short-range depth sensor viewing the touch screen of a mobile device. We present an algorithm that extracts finger rotation and tilt from a point cloud generated by a depth sensor oriented towards the device’s touchscreen. The results of two user studies we conducted show that finger pose information can be extracted reliably using our proposed method. We show this for controlling rotation and tilt axes separately and also for combined input tasks using both axes. With the exception of the depth sensor, which is mounted directly on the mobile device, our approach does not require complex external tracking hardware, and, furthermore, external computation is unnecessary as the finger pose extraction algorithm can run directly on the mobile device. This makes PointPose ideal for prototyping and developing novel mobile user interfaces that use finger pose estimation.