Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New techniques allow greater control of smartwatches

30.01.2017

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:


A 3-D-printed flutecase snaps onto a watch to support Whoosh. 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.

Credit: Gabriel Reyes

  • Scrolling through apps running your fingers along the watch band

     

  • Launching eight smartwatch apps by tapping key points on the watch case (or bezel)

     

  • Rejecting phone calls by blowing on the screen or tapping the side of the watch

     

  • Editing dictated text message errors by breathing on the screen

     

  • Transferring on-screen information from the watch to a phone with breaths

     

  • Selecting numbers by tapping the back of your hand

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.

... more about:
»Smartwatches »frequencies »watch

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.

Media Contact

Jason Maderer
maderer@gatech.edu
404-660-2926

 @GeorgiaTech

http://www.gatech.edu 

Jason Maderer | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: Smartwatches frequencies watch

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Perovskite-silicon solar cell research collaboration hits 25.2% efficiency
15.06.2018 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie GmbH

nachricht Second heat source optimises heat pump system
12.06.2018 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

Im Focus: Water is not the same as water

Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Kidney tumor: Genetic trigger discovered

19.06.2018 | Life Sciences

Novel method for investigating pore geometry in rocks

18.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Diamond watch components

18.06.2018 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>