Researchers Tinker Highly Sensitive Gesture Control with the Help of an LG G Watch

A group of researchers from the Future Interfaces Group at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) have succeeded in developing a high-sensitivity device from a conventional Smartwatch. This was made possible, among other things, by overclocking the acceleration sensor of the watch. The result is an extremely sensitive data receptor, which can also perceive the finest gestures and even acoustic signals.

The chopped clock is so sensitive that it can even record flipping or gently tapping on the forearm. As the following video of the research group shows, even the vibrations of an electric toothbrush are recognized. However, it is not only possible to facilitate the operation of the Smartwatch, but also to control other technical devices with the clock: as can be seen in the video, for example, the light can be switched on with a snap and even dimmed with a certain gesture.


The gesture control with the help of the modified clock, the project carries the name “ViBand”, appears in the video already quite mature. But they are still far from commercial use of this technology. The researchers emphasize, however, that one also wants to show how much potential is still slumbering in the smart watches. The sampling rate of the acceleration sensor from the LG G Watch is limited by the software to approximately 100Hz, the sampling rate of the watch to be seen in the video is about 40 times as high.

However, there seems to be a problem: the energy consumption during the overclocking increases enormously and the already weak batteries of the Smartwatches are strained excessively. The developers at Carnegie Mellon University are talking about a doubling of energy consumption – which is probably still very optimistic.