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Watchconnect: a toolkit for prototyping smartwatch-centric cross-device applications

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Abstract

People increasingly use smartwatches in tandem with other devices such as smartphones, laptops or tablets. This allows for novel cross-device applications that use the watch as both input device and output display. However, despite the in-creasing availability of smartwatches, prototyping cross-device watch-centric applications remains a challenging task. Developers are limited in the applications they can explore as available toolkits provide only limited access to different types of input sensors for cross-device interactions. To address this problem, we introduce WatchConnect, a toolkit for rapidly prototyping cross-device applications and interaction techniques with smartwatches. The toolkit provides developers with (i) an extendable hardware platform that emulates a smartwatch, (ii) a UIframework that integrates with an existing UI builder, and (iii) a rich set of input and output events using a range of built-in sensor mappings. We demonstrate the versatility and design space of the toolkit with five interaction techniques and applications.