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This smartwatch uses electromagnetic noise to identify what you're touching

By Shawn Knight ยท 7 replies
Nov 10, 2015
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  1. Smartwatches come in all different shapes, sizes and price ranges yet they all suffer from an inherent flaw: they don’t solve a problem or fill a need. A group of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University may have come up with a practical application that’d make the common smartwatch truly useful.

    As the researchers explain, most everyday electrical and electromechanical objects emit small amounts of electromagnetic (EM) noise during operation. When a person touches such an object like a laptop, a motorcycle, a ladder or an electric toothbrush, the EM signals pass through the user’s body. The signals aren’t strong enough for humans to detect but can easily be picked up by special a small, low-cost software radio.

    The team embedded their sensor inside a traditional smartwatch as a proof-of-concept called EM-Sense. As such, the watch is able to determine what you are touching or holding and can even trigger specific tasks or duties.

    Grabbing a toothbrush, for example, can launch a timer to make sure you brush adequately. Touching the door handle of your office at work, meanwhile, could prompt the watch to check your e-mail and text messages. The watch could also be used to unlock your laptop, provide traffic updates when you get in your car and more.

    The possibilities here are truly endless and could finally give millions a reason to purchase a smartwatch.

    All media courtesy Gierad Laput

    Permalink to story.

  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,270

    They have to come up with something tangible to make smartwatches desirable to the masses because right now they shouldn't even exist as far as I'm concerned.
  3. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,636   +1,026

    I agree that they are pointless but I guess you have to start somewhere.
  4. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,745   +647

    LOL. Yes, we all need something to tell us what we are touching through our laptop or tablet or whatever. Maybe this is useful for those who are impaired in some fashion, however, for the rest of us, I really don't think we need anything like this - I certainly do not. I don't even see a "cool factor" in this.
  5. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,608   +1,898

    O-o! it missed! LOL!

  6. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,045   +206

    Sir your watch shows you were wielding a colt 45 and a bag of money at 931 pm when the bank was robbed.
  7. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,636   +1,026

    if it can tell you if you are touching a man or a woman might be useful in this day and age XD
    VitalyT likes this.
  8. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,179   +207

    I wonder what its like in the Carnegie Mellon University bathrooms, Is there a small electronic voice saying penis every so often?

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