Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have come up with a way to expand the touch screen on a smartwatch by using the skin around the wearer.
"The human finger is very big, but the touch screen on the smart watch is very small . "D.
Student Yang Zhang told ABC News.
This new invention called SkinTrack allows you to use gestures on your skin, such as sliding or even drawing as shown in the team's video presentation.
This week, the group published a paper at a human event.
The computer interaction conference of the San Jose Computing Machinery Association in California, led by lead author Zhang.
"How do you make the screen bigger without actually making the screen bigger?
We looked at the area around the watch, "Ph. Gierad Laput. D.
Students working in the team told ABC News.
Because many people already wear watches and rings, SkinTrack's wristbands and rings are not notable, Zhang said.
SkinTrack may be integrated into "smart rings", which companies like Apple have been laughing at, Zhang added.
The IPhone manufacturer filed a patent application in last October for an interactive smart ring with a touchpad or touch screen.
"However, since smartwatches are still emerging in the market, it may take a while for smart rings to gain traction," Zhang said.
This is how it works.
The ring around the finger emits high-frequency electrical signals.
Whenever the ring touches the skin, the signal spreads to the user's arm.
The arm band has electrodes with a specific pattern and is sensitive to direction using the "x" and "y" axes.
Using these electrodes, the device can map and track finger movements.
"It's like how the cell tower can figure out where you are by calculating the signal delay," Laput said . ".
"In this case, we are arranging electrodes that are sensitive to the direction of" x "and" y.
The team is working closely with industry partners, but can't reveal who they are, rapt said.
This is not the first time that researchers have used the skin as an interface.
The team also experimented with buttons on the skin.
Researchers are interested in expanding the use of wearable devices.
"Smartwatch is a very capable computer that can turn your hand into an input and perception platform," he said . ".