LumiWatch Turns Your Arm Into a Touchscreen

Monday, April 30, 2018 - 09:58

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have unveiled a new smart watch which can turn arms into a touchscreen.

The prototype LumiWatch projects an interactive surface area on the wearer’s arm or hand, allowing them to tap and swipe on their skin to use the watch, the Verge reports.

The prototype shows how an on-body interface might work: you swipe left to unlock the watch, and apps are then displayed along your arm. The watch can project an interface up to 40 square centimeters in size, which the researchers say is roughly 5 times bigger than the interface of a typical smart watch.

The LumiWatch is self-contained and made up of a logic board, projector, depth sensor, metal enclosure, and battery. The projector uses three lasers of red, blue, and green, and the projection is bright enough to be seen outdoors.

The watch features a 15 lumen scanned-laser projector, continuous 2D finger tracking, a Qualcomm 1.2 Ghz quad-core CPU, 768MB of RAM, 4GB flash memory and a 740 mAh lithium ion battery with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capability. It runs on Android 5.1.

The researchers found the watch lasts over one hour of continuous projection, and with intermittent use they anticipate the battery would last for around a whole day.

The watch might be the first to project a useable on-body interface, but it’s not the first watch to project images and other content onto users’ arms. Haier’s Asu watch also has a built-in projector that displays information on the back of your hand like fitness goals while you’re running. Ritot also has a wearable band that syncs with your smartphone and projects notifications onto the back of your hand.

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