Wearable technology is the next big thing, according to every sci-fi movie out there. But movie studios aren’t the only ones interested in the future. Investors are going all in with this new technology, and now we are finally seeing some huge improvements that could boost sales for those swanky smartwatches.
One of the biggest complaints from smartwatch users is how difficult it is to navigate with the tiny screen. Yeah, you could make the screens bigger, but who wants to carry an iPad on their wrist? Companies can’t afford to make the screens any bigger than they are now, which is why everyone is excited to hear there might be a solution to this problem.
A team at the Future Interfaces Group, a research lab within Carnegie Mellon University, released the first look at the SkinTrack. It turns your skin into a touchscreen, making it easier to flip through apps on your smartwatch.
How does it work? Well, it uses a signal-emitting ring (which you place on your finger) to communicate with a sensing band attached to your watch. When the finger wearing the ring makes contact with the skin, an electrical signal spreads across your arm.
First-year Ph.D. student Yang Zhang explains, “The great thing about SkinTrack is that it’s not obtrusive; watches and rings are items that people already wear every day.”
Another neat feature is its ability to sense continuous tracking, which allows you to draw a picture on the screen by simply dragging your finger along your skin. You can even swipe right and left, making it even easier to find potential matches on Tinder.
But the most attractive feature? Using your skin as a canvas for the world inside your device. You can swipe/drag apps off the watch and place them on parts of your arm, to create shortcuts back to the app. For example, you could put your Gmail app on your elbow, and quickly gain access to it by tapping on your elbow with the finger that’s wearing the ring.
As of right now, there are no plans in place by this particular team to commercialize the product, but you can bet this technology will be hitting the market soon.
Screengrab via: Youtube