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One-handed Phone Adaptation

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000241621D
Publication Date: 2015-May-18
Document File: 2 page(s) / 26K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a system that utilizes a variety of smartphone functionality to analyze the user’s context and application usage in order to automatically adapt the screen size and visual elements to optimize one-handed use of the smartphone.

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Page 01 of 2

One-handed Phone Adaptation

Smartphone designers and manufacturers are increasing the screen size. Oversized screens, a once niche market, have become mainstream and top sellers. With the benefits of increased screen size and quality, comes the drawback that the majority of users no longer can use a smartphone with one hand. Users of smartphones with large displays cannot reach all areas of the screens using only thumbs for one-handed operation. Users must change hand position or use both hands, which becomes especially inefficient while multi-tasking or moving (e.g., walking).

Phone manufacturers have recognized this inconvenience and developed proprietary software settings to address the issue. One example is a mode that requires users to go to System Settings to turn on settings such as reducing screen size, one-handed input, and side key panels, allowing users to shrink the rendered screen size so all areas of the screen are reachable by thumb. A similar system creates reachability through a setting in which users double-tap the Home button to move the screen down, closer to the user's thumb.

While reducing the rendered screen size assists with some one-handed functionality, current smartphone settings are limited in analysis and functionality. For example, both settings are first party; many of the benefits of the smaller screen size and one-hand usage can only be realized in the manufacturer's applications. In addition, although the screen is reduced in size, many of the screen elements (e.g., top navigation and buttons) are still difficult to reach.

The proposed system utilizes a variety of smartphone functionality to analyze the user's context and application usage in order to automatically adapt the screen size and visual elements to optimize one-handed use of the smartphone. Through detecting the user's hand position, phone usage, and even application-specific interaction, the system can enhance the usability throughout the smartphone experience.

The first step in implementing the system is to determine the user's hand position. The system prompts the user to indicate the dominant hand (e.g., with a pop-up dialogue window or button). When the system detects single taps predominantly registered on one side of the screen, it determines that the user is using one hand, usually from the user's dominant hand. The system can also automate the one-handed detection process by utilizing the phone's haptic sensors, detecting whenever the user's palm and fingers are positioned in a manner that is most likely one-handed. Periodically, the system can ask the user to confirm which hand is used to operate the smartphone.

The system could ask users for their dominant hand on first use. When users hold t...