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Adding Expressiveness to Smartwatch Notifications Through Ambient Illumination

Frederic Kerber; Sven Gehring; Antonio Krüger; Markus Löchtefeld
In: International Journal of Mobile Human Computer Interaction (IJMHCI), Vol. 9, No. 4, Pages 1-14, IGI Global, 10/2017.


The ongoing miniaturization of technology provides the possibility to create more and more powerful devices in smaller form factors. One characteristic of this development is smart wearable devices, such as smartwatches, which open up new possibilities for mobile human-computer interaction. While recent research has revealed that these devices are mainly used to display notifications, the very small screen size can be a hindrance. Consequently, explicit user interaction is, for example, required to browse through notifications to get an overview of them. The authors present an alternative by providing an aggregation and filtering approach to better handle notifications. Furthermore, they investigated several display concepts based on a self-built smartwatch prototype equipped with twelve full-color LEDs to present notifications through ambient illumination. Derived from a user study with twelve participants, the work concludes with guidelines that could be employed when designing notification systems.