A Workaround For Tiny Smartwatch Screens And Fat Fingers

Carnegie Mellon scientists have developed an interface that works through twists and tilts as well as clicks.

What's the Latest Development?


Presented at this month's ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems was a prototype of a smartwatch that worked by tilting, twisting, and clicking the screen body instead of tapping or sliding atop its face. In a video created for the device, the team of Carnegie Mellon developers demonstrated several sample applications, including a music application that can scroll through songs, select a song, and change the volume, all through actions that don't require the user to touch the screen.

What's the Big Idea?

Currently, smartwatch technology requires small screens and mostly finger-based interaction, which makes them challenging to use for more than a few people. According to team member and Carnegie Mellon assistant professor Chris Harrison, they sought to avoid that cramped feeling when building the prototype. The result is definitely bigger than the typical smartwatch, which could bring with it other problems, such as battery strain. However, Harrison hints that the team's next project might involve an interface that doesn't require touching the smartwatch at all.

Photo Credit: Chris Harrison

Read it at MIT Technology Review

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