Most modern smartwatches are fitted with touchscreen displays, so people operate them with their fingers. However, scientists from Georgia Institute of Technology in the USA came up with a whole set of alternatives that could be used in future smartwatches.
The group of researchers was experimenting on LG and Sony devices using various methods, like skin-taps, band swipes and even breaths. Here is a list of these techniques invented by Georgia Tech engineers:
- WatchOut – this technology is based on tapping and scrolling. The accompanying app (demo version) allows users to control the watch by swiping on its band. Another app was used to create special touchpoints on the bezel. The access to different apps on the watch can be done with a tap on these points;
- Whoosh – this technology involves control with breathing. The smartwatch will be able to recognize various types of breathing, like shushing, blowing or exhaling, and tell them apart. Whoosh could be extremely helpful for people with speech disorders;
- TapSkin – this project works with the watch’s mic and special internal sensors due to which users can tap on the back of their hand to enter numbers or something else. On the whole, there will be 11 places for tapping around the watch;
- FluteCase – this is a 3D printed case that goes onto the watch. The case has 8 differently sized holes in it. By blowing into them, the user activates various features which can be assigned to specific operations.
Some of these ideas do sound very innovative. All of them have already been introduced to the public, so we may see them put in action in the nearest future.