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Interacting with mobile devices using touch can lead to fingers occluding valuable screen real estate. For the smallest devices, the idea of using a touch-enabled display is almost wholly impractical. This paper investigates sensing user touch around small screens like these. The paper describes a prototype device with Infra-Red (IR) proximity sensors embedded along each side and capable of detecting the presence and position of fingers in the adjacent regions. When this device is rested on a flat surface, such as a table or desk, the user can carry out single and multi-touch gestures using the space around the device.
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