ActPad is a desk pad, capable of sensing capacitive touch input in desk setups. Our prototype can sense touches on both, its electrodes and on connected objects. ActPad’s interaction-space is customizable, allowing easy integration and extension of existing desk environments.
In smart environments, users may interact with more than one device at the same time. This generates the need for new interaction mechanisms that bundle the control of multiple ubiquitous devices. We support this need through a platform that extends interaction with IoT devices. ActPad accounts for different ways of controlling IoT devices by enabling various modes of interaction – in particular simultaneous, sequential, implicit and explicit – and, hence, a rich input space. As a proof of concept, we illustrate several use cases, including, but not limited to, controlling the browser on a PC, turning lights on/off, switching songs, or preparing coffee.


Project Resources

You can find all necessary resources to build your own ActPad here:



delgado2021chiea.jpg Sarah Delgado Rodriguez, Sarah Prange, Lukas Mecke and Florian Alt. ActPad – A Smart Desk Platform to Enable User Interaction with IoT Devices. In Extended Abstracts of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. CHIEA'21. ACM, New York, NY, USA. [Download Bibtex]


Presentation and Trailer