WristWhirl: Smartwatches Wants to Use New Technology by Hand Movements

Everyone who owns a Smartwatch has ever been in this situation once in a while: Actually, he wants to respond to information on the display, but the hand for typing is not free. Perhaps there are heavy shopping carts that prevent this or have to be trapped in the bus or the tram. This is exactly what a team of scientists from Dartmouth College from the state of New Hampshire has adopted. The result is the WristWhirl Smartwatch, which does not need screen touches. The operation is performed only by gestures of the wrist, on which the watch is worn. Simply put, the bracelet of this wearables acts as a joystick, reacting to typical movements. Although the whole thing still sounds very surreal, it could be a future-oriented technology.

Display:

The previous prototype of the WristWhirl Smartwatch has been created with the help of a small group of test persons. In the course of the research project, they were commissioned to offer the watch on the left wrist and to carry out specific movements both while standing and while walking. These were, on the one hand, directional gestures and, on the other hand, geometric shapes such as a square or a triangle. It was important that the Smartwatch was held in such a way that it could be seen well for the test subjects to get a visual feedback – or, in a simple way, to tell the testers how the clock reacts to their movements. With a half-second delay, the commands on the WristWhirl Smartwatch arrived when directions were specified. The geometrical shapes needed about 1.5 seconds. The fastest response was when the arm was held as close to the body as possible. How the whole thing works in reality, shows a video of the researchers.

The scientists also installed various apps on the WristWhirl Smartwatch in order to test the prototype for its suitability for typical applications. This was a music player, with which the gestures from one to the next song changed or the play of a title can be selected. A second app was map material, which can be moved by hand movement and can be enlarged and reduced by zoom. With Tetris, even a game was served on the WristWhirl Smartwatch and the shapes aligned according to a gesture to fit into each other.

In order to understand the principle, the technical data must be considered. The prototype is equipped with a two-inch display and a bracelet. And precisely in the bracelet, the secret of this technology is slumbering: because there are a dozen proximity sensors with infrared light, they recognize the distance of the hand and detect its movement. From these functions, as in a puzzle of several parts, an image is created – and this is ultimately displayed on the display. This week in Tokyo is now for the 29th time a congress on the technology around various topics on user interfaces. The Dartmouth College team would like to introduce their WristWhirl Smartwatch. The plan is, incidentally, this innovation in the future to transfer to the Apple Watch.

 

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