RELEVANCE OF SMARTWATCHES IN THE TECH WORLD

The Smartwatch technology is undeniable a technology that has come to stay. With a projected global demand to exceed 110 million units by 2020, the relevance of this gadget to users is unarguable. With this wearable gadget, users are able to check notifications, texts, emails and updates without having to go through the stress of constantly bringing out their smartphones, especially in situations where you are ether in a crowd, a meeting or charging from afar. A lot of health benefit are also attached to some smartwatches. An example is the Moto 360 Smartwatch which, by the aid of apps like Edomondo, Runkeeper and Connect Line, can monitor the users’ heart rate during run, remotely control hearing aids, measure distance covered through the aid of a pedometer and even draft a weight loss chart. These are just few of the numerous applications of this gadget, health wise and otherwise to the user.

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Though becoming a well sought out gadget by the gadget enthusiast, smartwatches are ridden with numerous limitations in contrast to the smart phones and tablets. Issues ranging from a limited display unit, making gameplay and internet browsing non-satisfactory, to the dependency of the gadget on smart phones and computers to perform important functions such as making phone calls, are just few of the frustrating snags users have to deal with. In a bid to improve upon these shortcomings and by so doing increase demand of this technology, a lot of work is being out into making the Smartwatch an independent gadget. “SkinTrack”, a technology developed by a team of scientists from Carnegie Mellon University, is just one of those numerous efforts made to make this dream a reality. This is a new wearable technology that can turn your lower arm into a smartwatch touch pad.

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SAMSUNG’S PATENT APPLICATION “WEARABLE DEVICE AND CONTROL METHOD THEREOF”

Samsung however has taken a bold step to resolve the screen limitation drawback of smartwatches, which is a projector! Wow! Why didn’t anyone think of that? Anyways, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., has already filed a patent for this technology. As described by Samsung in the patent application, the smartwatch is going to be “A wearable device that is configured to be worn on a body of a user and a control method thereof are provided”.

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WORKING MECHANISM OF THE SMARTWATCH

The smartwatch will comprise of an image projector (projects a virtual user Interface), a camera (image capture) and a processor (detects target area for projection). In a lay man’s description, sort of, this smartwatch will work by employing the use of camera to first capture an image, which is then sent to the processor. From the captured image, the processor detects a target area suitable for projection and controls the image projector to project the virtual UI unto the target area of choice.

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FUNCTIONALITIES OF THE SMARTWATCH

The smartwatch projector will be able to project the UI of the watch on the back of the hand, fingers and arm of the user. From the illustrations on the patent application, it could be seen that users would be able to project dial pads, menu options, notifications, enter phone numbers by tapping on the projected display and enter text by handwriting simulation.

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The patent also covers the application of this technology in headsets and VR devices where images can projected unto any surface like a wall.  This, however is just a patent, and there is no guarantee that Samsung would develop this technology. But the mere fact that Samsung and other likely big players are trying to resolve this issue is reassuring and reaffirms the commitment of smartwatch enthusiast.

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This is definitely going to be welcomed development. I know most users are tired and frustrated from tapping the wrong menu or dialing the wrong number, right?

Picture Credit: i2.cdn.turner.com, www.digitaltrends.com, 

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