Someone has finally figured out a practical way to interact with smartwatches

By on April 30, 2014, 2:45 PM
prototype, concept, user interface, smartwatch

While there are plenty of smartwatches to choose from at this stage of the game, nobody has come up with an interface that makes much sense yet. Touchscreen technology works beautifully on a full-sized smartphone or tablet but tapping and swiping on a tiny 1.5-inch display – especially for those with large fingers – just seems silly.

It’s clear that someone will have to come up with an entirely new way to interact with smartwatches and that someone might just be a group of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University.

The team has created a proof of concept that uses the entire screen to interact with the user interface. By that, I mean you can twist, pan, tilt and even click the entire watch face to navigate the UI. For example, you can tilt the face side to side or up and down to navigate in a mapping app and scroll through your calendar or twist it back and forth to set the time on a clock. Heck, you can even play a game of Doom using the controls.

It may sound silly in theory but it’s actually pretty brilliant once you see it in action.

With any luck, the concept will find its way to a major mobile player for use on a consumer smartwatch at some point. Until then (or until someone comes up with an even better interaction method), I don’t see smartwatches gaining too much traction in the marketplace.

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