Could 'Skin-to-Screen' Tech Lead to Smartwatch Revolution?

May 18, 2016

Like trying to remain friends with your ex, smartwatches sound like a really good idea: You can do most of the stuff you can with your smartphone, but not the things that really matter, and it’s usually awkward.

Luckily, the brilliant researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, led by the Future Interface Group's Chris Harrison, recently announced a game-changing technology called SkinTrack that will help you rekindle your old relationship – with your watch. Using a high-frequency emitting ring and a wristband embedded with two pairs of electrodes, the application turns your finger into a stylus and your arm into a touch pad.

“The problem with smartwatches and wearables is their screen real estate is really small,” saysGierad Laput, a third-year PhD student at CMU’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute who worked on the project. “If you can extend that screen functionality to other surface areas, in this case, the skin, that would be really good.”

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