There are many situations where using personal devices is not socially acceptable, or where nearby people present a privacy risk. For these situations, we explore the concept of hidden interaction techniques through two prototype applications. HiddenHaptics allows users to receive information through vibrotactile cues on a smartphone, and HideWrite allows users to write text messages by drawing on a dimmed smartwatch screen. We conducted three user studies to investigate whether, and how, these techniques can be used without being exposed. Our primary findings are (1) users can effectively hide their interactions while attending to a social situation, (2) users seek to interact when another person is speaking, and they also tend to hide the interaction using their body or furniture, and (3) users can sufficiently focus on the social situation despite their interaction, whereas non-users feel that observing the user hinders their ability to focus on the social activity.



maekelae2021chi.jpg Ville Mäekelä, Johannes Kleine, Maxine Hood, Florian Alt and Albrecht Schmidt. Hidden Interaction Techniques: Concealed Information Acquisition and Texting on Smartphones and Wearables. In Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. CHI'21. Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA. [Download Bibtex]