This projector smartwatch turns your arm into a terrible touchscreen

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have unveiled a new "first in class" smart watch that can turn your arm into a touch screen. The LumiWatch prototype projects an interactive surface area on the user's arm or hand, allowing it to touch and slide on its skin to use the watch. The prototype shows how an interface on the body might work: swipe left to unlock the watch and applications are displayed along your arm. The watch can project an interface of up to 40 square centimeters, which according to researchers is about 5 times larger than the interface of a typical smart watch.

The LumiWatch is autonomous and consists of a logic board, a projector, depth sensor, metal box and battery. The projector uses three red, blue and green lasers, and the projection is bright enough to be seen on the outside. The watch features a laser projector with 15 lumen scanning, continuous tracking with two fingers, a Qualcomm 1.2 Ghz quad-core CPU, 768MB of RAM, 4GB flash memory and a 740 mAh lithium-ion battery with Bluetooth and Wifi. It runs on Android 5.1. The researchers found that the clock lasts more than an hour of continuous projection, and with intermittent use anticipate that the battery will last around a whole day.

Photo: Robert Xiao / Carnegie Mellon University

"Although there are obstacles to practical adoption, we believe that our work demonstrates the first system of intelligent projection of functions and constitutes a significant advance in the state of the art," wrote the authors. researchers in a document entitled "LumiWatch: graphics projected in the arm and tactile input". Some of these obstacles include the difficulty of projecting an interface somewhere like an arm, since it is not completely flat, which often produces distortion. The watch, therefore, detects when the user uses swipe left to unlock the mechanism. Then it tracks the user's finger to calibrate and optimize the angle of the projection so that the interface can be used.

Researchers estimate that the immediate retail cost of the prototype model would be around $ 600. The prototype model of the watch is quite bulky, measuring 50 mm x 41 mm x 17 mm (2 inches x 1.6 inches x 0, 66 inches). That's considerably larger than the 42mm Apple Watch Series Three aluminum case, which measures 42.5mm x 36.4mm x 11.4mm (1.67 inches x 1.43 inches x 0.45 inches).

The watch could be the first to project a usable interface into the body, but it is not the first watch to project images and other content into users' arms. Haier's Asu watch also has a built-in projector that displays information on the back of your hand, such as fitness targets while you're running. Ritot also has a portable band that synchronizes with your smartphone and projects notifications on the back of your hand.

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