With wearable computers, using the computer is usually just an occasional, secondary task. The user may operate the computer while walking in the street or sitting in a bus. Hence, efficient and natural methods for controlling the user interface while still being able to interact with the environment are needed. We present a way to navigate and control the wearable computer user interface with fingers. Our approach, called N-Fingers, replaces the conventional desktop pointing devices and the metaphors associated with them, and allows the user to control the user interface in an easy, natural way by using the thumb to push 'buttons' located in the other fingers. An initial qualitative usability evaluation showed N-Fingers to be a promising interaction technique for wearable computers. It is intuitive to use and easy to learn. It can also be used without looking at the hand. The subsequent quantitative evaluation proved that N-Fingers is a fast, accurate technique that can be learned very quickly. N-Fingers enables the wearable computer user interface designers to develop interfaces that are efficient to use yet unobtrusive. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.
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