Skintrack Transforms Lower Arm Into Touchpad For Smartwatch

Posted: May 6 2016, 5:57am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Skintrack Transforms Lower Arm into Touchpad for Smartwatch
Carnegie Mellon University's SkinTrack enables users to turn their skin into a touchpad for controlling smartwatches. User wears only a signal-emitting ring, which propagates electromagnetic waves in the skin that can be localized with sensors worn on the wrist. Credit: Future Interfaces Group, Carnegie Mellon University

Don't Miss: This How to find Fingerlings in Stock

Watch the incredible video of the Skintrack in action below.

A team of scientists from Carnegie Mellon University has developed a new wearable technology that can turn your lower arm into a smartwatch touchpad.

Called “SkinTrack” and developed by the Human-Computer Interaction Institute's Future Interfaces Group, the new system allows for continuous touch tracking on the hands and arms.

It also can detect touches at discrete locations on the skin, enabling functionality similar to buttons or slider controls.

“The great thing about SkinTrack is that it's not obtrusive like smartwatches that people wear every day," said Yang Zhang, PhD student in HCII.

Previous “skin to screen” approaches have employed flexible overlays, interactive textiles and projector or camera combinations that can be cumbersome.

“SkinTrack”, by contrast, requires only that the user wear a special ring which propagates a low-energy, high-frequency signal through the skin when the finger touches or nears the skin surface.

A major problem with smartwatches and other digital jewelry is that their screens are so tiny. “Not only is the interaction area small but your finger actually blocks much of the screen when you're using it,” added Gierad Laput from HCII and part of the research team.

“SkinTrack” makes it possible to move interactions from the screen onto the arm, providing much larger interface.

By using electrodes integrated into the watch's strap, it's possible to pinpoint the source of those electromagnetic waves because the phase of the waves will vary.

The researchers found that they could determine when the finger was touching the skin with 99 percent accuracy and resolve the location of the touches with a mean error of 7.6 millimeters.

That compares well with other on-body finger-tracking systems and approaches touchscreen-like accuracy.

The researchers showed that “SkinTrack” can be used as a game controller, to scroll through lists on the smartwatch, to zoom in and out of onscreen maps and to draw.

A number pad application enabled users to use the back of the hand as a dial pad for the onscreen number pad - hovering a finger over the hand acts as a cursor, highlighting numbers on the screen to aid in targeting touch points.

The technology is safe. No evidence suggests that the radio frequency signals used by "SkinTrack" have any health effects, the authors noted.

The team is scheduled to present the technology at the “Association for Computing Machinery's Conference on Human Factors in Computing” in San Jose, California on May 10.

Holiday Gift Guides and Deals

Get your Holiday gifting inspired by Best Toy Gifts with High STEM Value and the Top 10 toy gifts under $10 if you are on budget. The most popular Holiday 2017 toy list include Fingerlings, Crate Creatures and more. Don't miss the new Holiday deals on Amazon Devices, including $29.99 Fire tablet.

This story may contain affiliate links.

This free App Solves You Holiday Shopping Problem


Download the free Tracker app now to get in-stock alerts on Fingerling, Luvabella, SNES Classic and more.

Latest News

Comments

The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/59" rel="author">IANS</a>
The Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) was established in 1986, initially to serve as an information bridge between India and its thriving Diaspora in North America. Now IANS is a full-fledged wire agency, putting out news 24x7 from around the world.

 

 

Advertisement

comments powered by Disqus