SkinTrack Gadget Turns Arm Skin into Touchpad; Could This Replace The Apple Watch?

By Kathleen Nava , Updated May 10, 2016 03:19 AM EDT
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Smartwatches such as Apple Watch and Android watches are becoming popular now. But these innovative creations have one major drawback, they provide very little space for navigation. It is difficult to navigate through apps on a relatively tiny screen. A team of researchers wants to fix this issue by introducing SkinTrack, which allows users to control the device using their arm and hand as the touchpad.

Tiny touchscreens are certainly not easy, clicking on a button that you don't intend to click can definitely be frustrating. As a result, a team at the Future Interfaces Group, a research lab within Carnegie Mellon University developed a SkinTrack system which can make the skin on the user's arm and hand act like a touchpad for their smartwatch, as reported by Discovery News.

"A major problem with smartwatches and other digital jewelry is that their screens are so tiny," a member of the research team, Gierad Laput said. "Not only is the interaction area small, but your finger actually blocks much of the screen when you're using it. Input tends to be pretty basic, confined to a few buttons or some directional swipes."

According to Mail Online, the SkinTrack uses a ring that generates electrical signals. All you have to do is to wear the SkinTrack gadget just like a regular ring on your finger and with the smartwatch on your forearm, you can swipe and tap your arm using the finger wearing the SkinTrack ring.

SkinTrack turns out to be a really promising and helpful gadget. Research showed that SkinTrack was accurate enough to be used in games and can handle app navigation, selection, scrolling, and confirmation. SkinTrack even works when the skin is covered with clothing.

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