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Response to [Snaplet: using body shape… ] by Tarun et al


Tarun et al. presented their work called Snaplet – a wearable flexible E Ink display with varied functions decided by how people hold it (Tarun, Lahey, et al. 2011). For example, when wearing it on the wrist the display becomes a watch and media player and when holding it flat on the hands it becomes a note pad. Fundamentally, the display is augmented with bend sensors which detect the changing shape of the device as people hold it differently. While similar to my thesis topic, Snaplet focuses on the display per se where the body parts are just one of the ways to change its shape. My focus will be on various body parts where shape might just be one of the ways to inform how a device is related to them.


1. “When mobile phones were only phones, interactions were extremely limited in duration and complexity and conformed to the familiar rules of their wired progenitors.”

2. “A convex shape allows Snaplet to function as a watch, a flat shape allows it to be used as a pen-based PDA, and  a concave shape takes the phone off-hook.”

3. Advantages of Snaplet: 1) Improved ergonomic aspects; 2) provides direct affordances that associate shape with the function of the device; 3) haptic qualities inform the body of the current functionality of the device.


1. Maybe add a technical discussion about what current technology can afford BCI – such as what’s discussed in this paper, namely, the shape.

2. It didn’t answer whether and how users can self-define functions based on body parts.

3. E Ink (http://www.eink.com), Wacom pen interface (http://www.wacom.com) and bend sensors might be useful tools for other prototyping.



About Xiang 'Anthony' Chen

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