Thursday May 23, 2019
Home Science & Technology A Smartwatch ...

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

3
//
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.

NewsGram brings to you current foreign news from all over the world.

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.

NewsGram brings to you top news around the world today.

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.

Check out NewsGram for latest international news updates.

“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

Do You Know What All Activities Your Smartwatch Can Sense? Read Here To Find Out!

Apps might alert users to typing habits that could lead to repetitive strain injury (RSI), or assess the onset of motor impairments such as those associated with Parkinson's disease.

0
smartwatch
To reach this conclusion, Harrison and his team began their exploration of hand activity detection by recruiting 50 people to wear specially programmed smartwatches for almost 1,000 hours while going about their daily activities. Pixabay

Smartwatches, with a few tweaks, can detect a surprising number of things your hands are doing like helping your spouse with washing dishes, chopping vegetables or petting a dog, say researchers from Carnegie Mellon University.

By making a few changes to the smartwatch’s operating system, they were able to use its accelerometer to recognise hand motions and, in some cases, bio-acoustic sounds associated with 25 different hand activities at around 95 percent accuracy.

Those 25 activities (including typing on a keyboard, washing dishes, petting a dog, pouring from a pitcher or cutting with scissors) are just the beginning of what might be possible to detect, the researchers said.

“We envision smartwatches as a unique beachhead on the body for capturing rich, everyday activities,” said Chris Harrison, Assistant Professor in Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) at Carnegie.

smartwatch
Sensing hand activity also lends itself to health-related apps — monitoring activities such as brushing teeth, washing hands or smoking a cigarette.
Pixabay

“A wide variety of apps could be made smarter and more context-sensitive if our devices knew the activity of our bodies and hands,” he added.

Just as smartphones now can block text messages while a user is driving, future devices that sense hand activity might learn not to interrupt someone while they are doing certain work with their hands.

Sensing hand activity also lends itself to health-related apps — monitoring activities such as brushing teeth, washing hands or smoking a cigarette.

“Hand-sensing also might be used by apps that provide feedback to users who are learning a new skill, such as playing a musical instrument, or undergoing physical rehabilitation,” the study noted.

Apps might alert users to typing habits that could lead to repetitive strain injury (RSI), or assess the onset of motor impairments such as those associated with Parkinson’s disease.

To reach this conclusion, Harrison and his team began their exploration of hand activity detection by recruiting 50 people to wear specially programmed smartwatches for almost 1,000 hours while going about their daily activities.

dog
Those 25 activities (including typing on a keyboard, washing dishes, petting a dog, pouring from a pitcher or cutting with scissors) are just the beginning of what might be possible to detect, the researchers said.
Pixabay

More than 80 hand activities were labeled in this way, providing a unique dataset.

For now, users must wear the smartwatch on their active arm, rather than the passive (non-dominant) arm where people typically wear wristwatches, for the system to work.

Also Read: Facebook Creating ‘Inequalities’ Through Political Advertisements

Future experiments will explore what events can be detected using the passive arm.

Harrison and HCII PhD student Gierad Laput presented the findings at “CHI 2019”, the Association for Computing Machinery’s conference on human factors in computing systems in Glasgow, Scotland. (IANS)