The increasing popularity of smartwatches means OEMs are now adding one after another nifty features to lure customers. The latest ground-breaking technology to make way into smartwatches is the ECG feature in the Apple Watch Series 4. Google is now trying to go to an altogether different level. A new patent awarded to Google by the United States Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO) reveals that the company is aiming to turn your arm into your smartwatch’s keyboard.
Google patents a whole new input method for smartwatches
According to the new Google patent, the company is trying to include motion sensors in a smartwatch. The sensor will be capable of detecting gestures and motions made on the immediate surrounding of the device. The whole setup will allow the wearers to use their arm, or any other nearby surface as a keyboard. They can just write on their arms (by making swipe gestures using hand or any other pointed object) and the watch will automatically detect and accept the input.
While this idea addresses the issue of obscure interaction due to tiny screens of smartwatches, it’s not a wholesome new idea at all. Huawei has also patented a more or less similar technology with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). In fact, a similar concept have already been implemented by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and ASU Tech in their LumiWatch. The smartwatch prototype, however, was received with epithets such as ‘terrible’ in the media, and we haven’t heard anything about it since.
Google, meanwhile, certainly possesses the resource and the capital to do more than a bunch of researchers can. After all, it’s the fourth biggest tech company in the world (Forbes data, as of June 2018). And it’s long overdue a smartwatch. Amid strong rumors, the company didn’t even announce a smartwatch at its hardware fall this season. The company, self admittedly, is focusing on to improve the Wear OS instead. But sooner than later, we should see a Pixel Watch (that’s what the company may call it) in the market. And it’d be interesting to see what Google has up its sleeves.