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Smart thumb for one-hand operations on big touch screens Disclosure Number: IPCOM000241642D
Publication Date: 2015-May-20
Document File: 9 page(s) / 239K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


In this disclosure, a smart thumb is proposed, which can “ extend” your physical thumb to help you reach any far-away UI elements on large touch screens, and to perform any operations on these UI elements.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 49% of the total text.

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Smart thumb for one

Smart thumb for one- --hand operations on big touch screens

hand operations on big touch screens

In our daily life, usually we have only one hand to operate on mobile devices, such as when we take subway or a bus, using one hand to hold the arms or rails; or when a mommy has to use one hand to hold her baby.

In these scenarios, we can only use one thumb to operate on the touch screen. But touch screens are becoming bigger and bigger, growing from 3 inches to 4 inches, and then to today's over 5 inches giant screens. However, users' thumb can only reach a certain area of the touch screen. Thus, many UI elements will be out of reach in one-hand operation, which is really inconvenient. For example, as shown in Figure 1 below, the user's thumb can reach only app icons in the blue circle.


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Figure 1

Claim points:

1. Use the "thumb" metaphor to present a method of expanding your capable operation area on large touch screens .

2. To provide seamless user experience, this method is implemented in a way that naturally integrates the extended virtual thumb part with your physical thumb.

2.1. It follows your first instinct when deciding along which direction you're selecting a UI element, to imitate the same experience as you're using your physical thumb.


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2.2. It can customize your reach area by gradually learning your user behaviors.
2.3. It can perform any operations that you can perform with your physical thumb.

3. To improve accuracy of using smart thumb, a filtering and radiation selecting method is used on the backend, to assist you to locate the UI element you're trying to reach.

As shown in Figure4, the following usage scenarios are extracted:

Scenario 1

Figure 4


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The target interactive UI element is within your reach (icons in the blue circle). You can reach the UI element and operate the element with your own thumb.

Scenario 2

Trigger the smart thumb mode. There can be multiple user gestures to trigger this mode. E.g., when you use your thumb to press a blank area of the screen for a second, the extended thumb part (red dotted line) appears.

Scenario 3

The UI element is out of your reach.

3.1 You want to click or double-click on the element.
3.2 You want to long press the element.

3.2 You want to drag the element to another place.
3.4 You want to swipe the element.

After the virtual thumb part is displayed on the UI, and you can adjust its direction and length to assist you to point to target UI elements.


Use Figure 5 as an example, where the blue circle is a user's reach area. 12 interactive icons are displayed, however, the icons 1 to 6 are out of the reach.


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Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7

Our method use the following analyses at backend to help users accurately operate the far -away UI elements:

The reach area of a user (blue circle in Figure 5) is self-learned by the calculating and recording user's habits.

The candidate UI eleme...