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A Smartwatch that can detect objects, read new Applications and Monitor vibrations

A ViBand-enabled watch can tell if someone is tapping on the forearm, the palm of the hand or the back of the hand

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Smart Watch, Pixabay

New York, October 18, 2016: What if your smartwatch can help tune a guitar, displaying the note transmitted as you pluck and adjust each string? This is the future with a software upgrade that repurposes a smartwatch’s existing accelerometer.

A smartwatch is capable of detecting and distinguishing a variety of taps, flicks and scratches by the hands and fingers.

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The new functionality makes possible new applications that use common gestures to control the smartwatch and, ultimately, other objects connected through the internet of things (IoT).

By monitoring vibrations that occur when people hold objects or use tools, the smartwatch would also be capable of recognising objects and activities, said the team from Carnegie Mellon University.

“It’s as if you’re using your hand as a detection device. The hand is what people use to interact with the world,” added Gierad Laput, PhD student in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) at Carnegie.

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This new technology, dubbed ViBand, was developed by Laput and Robert Xiao from the HCII’s Future Interfaces Group, along with adviser Chris Harrison, assistant professor of human-computer interaction.

Normally, a smartwatch accelerometer is used to detect when a person lifts an arm so the screen can activate, or sometimes to count footsteps.

To do so, the accelerometer only needs to take measurements about 100 times a second.

But when researchers increased the sampling frequency to 4,000 a second (4 kHz), they found it acted like a vibrational microphone.

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“ViBand isn’t just a way to control your smartwatch,” Harrison said. “It enables you to augment your arm. It’s a powerful interface that’s always available to you.”

A ViBand-enabled watch can tell if someone is tapping on the forearm, the palm of the hand or the back of the hand. It can detect finger flicks, scratches and other motions.

It also can sense if a person is holding various mechanical and electrical tools, such as an electric toothbrush, power drill or handsaw. Each body tap, device or activity has distinctive bio-acoustic signals.

The team developed several demonstration apps for ViBand, including the use of hand gestures in the area around the watch to control apps on the watch.

The team is set to present a paper at the Association for Computing Machinery’s User Interface Software and Technology (ACM UIST) Symposium in Tokyo this week. (IANS)

  • Diksha Arya

    Well, a smartwatch capable of tuning my guitar would be awesome..

  • Antara

    A “smart” invention indeed!

  • Ruchika Kumari

    Sounds interesting. I think everyone want this smartwatch with them.

Next Story

Fitbit to Unveil Latest Update for its Smartwatch

Additionally, over the coming months, Fitbit will be rolling out new programs, challenges and wellness content

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Fitbit

Fitbit on Thursday announced new OS 4.1 software update for its smartwatch which adds new sleep features, more functionality straight from the home screen, along with new capabilities for Amazon Alexa.

The OS 4.1 update also adds a battery related feature, which will kick-in to notify when battery is running low.

The new Versa 2 smartwatch will also get an new advanced heart rate algorithm with this update.

Specific to Versa 2 users, Fitbit has doubled-down to enrich the recently-launched always-on display mode to deliver five additional clock face options.

Now in color, these feature full health and fitness stats, with faster transitions between always-on and active views, all powered by the device’s AMOLED display, touting a 2+ day battery life.

“Staying motivated to maintain your health and fitness routine is really hard around the holidays. We’re focused on making it more achievable through a combination of affordable devices, engaging software and our Premium membership to help you stay on track,” James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit said in a statement.

Fitbit is also continuing to roll out new content and tools to enhance Fitbit Premium membership, including a personal wellness report, developed in consultation with leading medical professionals from institutions like University of California, Los Angeles and University of California, San Francisco.

Additionally, over the coming months, Fitbit will be rolling out new programs, challenges and wellness content, plus workouts from popular brands like Daily Burn, Down Dog, Gaiam, POPSUGAR and Whil.

Fitbit
Fitbit on Thursday announced new OS 4.1 software update for its smartwatch which adds new sleep features, more functionality straight from the home screen, along with new capabilities for Amazon Alexa. Wikimedia Commons

Fitbit is continuing to expand its Premium paid membership service[15] that’s available now to millions of users in 17 markets across the globe with a new wellness report, an expanded library of new workouts from third parties.

Premium users will now have access to a wellness report, which can easily be downloaded and shared with a doctor or a personal trainer.

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Fitbit OS 4.1 will begin rolling out to Fitbit smartwatch users the first week of December. Fitbit Premium members can already access many of the latest updates, with the rest rolling out on an ongoing basis in the coming months. (IANS)