A system and method of the present invention emulates electronic input devices such as a steering wheel, a mouse, a joystick, a navigation bar, a scroll wheel, and a pressure-sensitive button. The method comprises swiping a finger on a swipe sensor, calculating a difference between a first position of the finger on the swipe sensor and a second position on the swipe sensor, and translating the difference into a plurality of sets of signals. Each set of signals is used to emulate the signals generated by one of the electronic input devices. The method thus uses a single swipe sensor to emulate multiple electronic input devices. In a preferred embodiment, the system is used to control a display on a portable electronic device is coupled to or forms part of the portable electronic device.