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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Connected bike computers can support professional cyclists in achieving better performances but interacting with them requires taking their hands off the handlebar compromising focus and safety. OBJECTIVE: This research aims at exploring the design of an ergonomic interface based on micro-gestures that can allow cyclists to interact with a device while holding the handlebar. METHODS: Three different studies were conducted with seven professional cyclists adopting the gesture-elicitation technique. One study aimed at eliciting free micro-gestures; a second to evaluate gestures recognizable with a smart glove; the last focused on the gestures recognized through an interactive armband. RESULTS: The analysis of the micro-gestures elicited during these studies allowed producing a first set of guidelines to design gestural interfaces for drop-bars (a specific type of handlebar for road bikes). These guidelines suggest which fingers to use and how to design their movement in order to provide an ergonomic interface. It also introduces the principle of symmetry for the attribution of symbols to symmetric referents. Finally, it provides suggestions on the design of the interactive drop-bar. CONCLUSIONS: The guidelines provided in this paper can support the design of gestural interfaces for professional cyclists that can enhance performance and increase safety.

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