Technology controlled by breaths, swipes and ta
Smartwatches aren't the easiest things to control, with their small screens and owner't bulky fingers. Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have invented new ways to interact that provide a little more control. Among their enhancements using LG and Sony watches:
The research was presented at several conferences in the fall, most recently in Niagara Falls at the 2016 ACM International Conference on Interactive Surfaces and Spaces in November.
Ph.D. student Cheng Zhang oversaw WatchOut, an interaction technique that uses taps and scrolling gestures on the case and watchband. They're possible because of the watch's gyroscope and accelerometer sensors.
"Other techniques that improve control of smartwatches have included 3D gestures above the screen, bigger screens or adding an extra armband," Zhang said. "We wanted to show it could be done with existing technology already common on today's devices."
One demo app allows wearers to scroll up, down, left and right by swiping on the watchband. According to Zhang it makes it easier to interact with GPS maps or menus. His study showed that scrolling on rubber watchbands was more accurate than leather bands due to the different friction of the materials.
They also created an app that creates eight touchpoints on the device's bezel. Rather than scrolling through a long list of apps, the user simply hits one of eight spots on the case to launch Facebook, for example. Hitting the sides of the watch can also control incoming calls.
"Smartwatches aren't very convenient when you're carrying something," Zhang said. "That's why we wanted to create a technique that allows the user to tap the watch to accept or deny phone calls. Hitting the right side answers the call; the left side ignores it."
Hands-free control is exactly what the other Georgia Tech team, led by Ph.D. student Gabriel Reyes, had in mind. One day he watched his wife blow a piece of fuzz off her phone while holding their newborn son. He and a team of students later created Whoosh, a technique that allows a person to control the watch by blowing, exhaling, shushing, sipping or puffing on the screen. The watch uses its microphone and machine learning to identify the breath patterns of each acoustic event, then assigns an action to each.
For example, a wearer can shush the watch to ignore a call or blow on it twice to accept. In another scenario, the watch can be locked or unlocked using a correct combination of short or long breaths. Voice recognition sometimes produces incorrect words when dictating a text message. Blowing quickly on the watch can erase words, while blowing on it longer will send the text message when ready. Finally, the technique also works with smartphones. A user can transfer content from the watch to a smartphone simply by sipping it off the watch and puffing it on the phone.
Reyes and his team are excited that they've proven the technology works. He says it could have potential for people with disabilities.
"The sip and puff technique has been used to control wheelchairs," he said. "Perhaps Whoosh could be the foundation for developers looking for ways that allow more control for those who can't easily interact with their mobile and wearable devices."
Dingtian Zhang, a Ph.D. student and labmate of Reyes, also designed a 3D-printed case that snaps onto the watch. The attachment has eight holes around the bezel, each with varying lengths. When a wearer blows into each of the holes, unique frequencies are generated much like a flute. The watch's microphone and the Whoosh system detects the subtle differences in the frequencies produced and identifies the intended target. Each target is linked to a specific action within applications.
The final project, TapSkin, allows users to tap on the back of their hand to input numbers 0-9 or commands into the watch. The technique uses the watch's microphone and inertial sensors to detect a total of 11 different tapping locations on a person's skin around the watch.
Jason Maderer | EurekAlert!
Fraunhofer ISE Supports Market Development of Solar Thermal Power Plants in the MENA Region
21.02.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE
New tech for commercial Lithium-ion batteries finds they can be charged 5 times fast
20.02.2018 | University of Warwick
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
22.02.2018 | Life Sciences
22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences