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Weight-shifting mobiles: two-dimensional gravitational displays in mobile phones

Gesche Joost; Fabian Hemmert; Susann Hamann; Matthias Löwe; Josefine Zeipelt


In this paper, we present a novel type of haptic display for usage in mobile phones. It changes the gravitational properties of the device by shifting an internal weight along two axes. Its utility is explored in a performance study, in which users were estimating positions of the device’s actuated center of gravity. The users also participated in qualitative studies: A questionnaire that assessed the perceived quality of interacting with the device, and an interview in which they described their experiences with the weight-shifting mobile. Furthermore, this paper suggests three domains of application in which the system may be of benefit: Augmenting digital content with physical mass, ambient displays, and haptically augmented wayfinding.