Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’19)
People eat every day and biting is one of the most fundamental and natural actions that they perform on a daily basis. Existing work has explored tooth click location and jaw movement as input techniques, however clenching has the potential to add control to this input channel. We propose clench interaction that leverages clenching as an actively controlled physiological signal that can facilitate interactions. We conducted a user study to investigate users’ ability to control their clench force. We found that users can easily discriminate three force levels, and that they can quickly confirm actions by unclenching (quick release). We developed a design space for clench interaction based on the results and investigated the usability of the clench interface. Participants preferred the clench over baselines and indicated a willingness to use clench-based interactions. This novel technique can provide an additional input method in cases where users’ eyes or hands are busy, augment immersive experiences such as virtual/augmented reality, and assist individuals with disabilities.