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

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
Keep reading Show less

Meet the Bajau sea nomads — they can reportedly hold their breath for 13 minutes

The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.

Wikimedia Commons
Culture & Religion
  • The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
  • Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
  • Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
Keep reading Show less

Golden blood: The rarest blood in the world

We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.

Abid Katib/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
  • Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
  • It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less