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Direct versus indirect manipulation

Smartwatches encompass a physical display that can easily support direct manipulation on-screen by using touch (similarly to the familiar interaction model on smartphones and tablets). The majority of smartglasses, however, at least at this point cannot offer a parallel experience.[] Users cannot simply reach out and interact with the projected display; they need to rely on indirect manipulation using separate input methods, such as external touchpad, physical keys, or voice commands. This makes the interaction model somewhat more challenging for users because they need to make the cognitive leap between what they see and seems within reach, and the actual input methods they can use to interact with the display. This requires building and forming habits around a set of logical connections between the display and the available means to manipulate it. In our current digital world, where a vast portion of the daily interaction with devices is direct (touch-based smartphones, tablets, media players, kiosks, and so on), getting users to learn a new interaction model that relies on indirect manipulation, introduces a certain stumbling block. As a result, investing design resources in the onboarding experience as well as ongoing in-product education is very important to help people ramp up quickly.

 
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