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Advanced gesture control coming to Smartwatches

Wearable devices are increasing in popularity because these devices are small, light, easy to carry and handle, with surprisingly good computing and processing capabilities. However, standard wearables’ input interfaces are relatively smaller, hence are difficult to use; for example, a wearable watch or bracelet has a small touch screen through which a user gives a command to the device. Due to these small interfaces, such as a couple of buttons and limited touchscreen capability in wearable devices, it is difficult for many users to use it conveniently and efficiently as they provide minimal choices to users and provide a poor user experience. 

To deal with the above limitations, users sometimes have to connect their wearable devices with other electrical gadgets like smartphones, tablets, computers, etc., which have relatively large input interfaces, such as touchscreens, keyboards, mice, etc. Therefore, this solution is not ideal for interacting with one’s wearable device, as it includes a need to buy other devices, which is costly and sometimes complex for the user.

Project soli is developed by Google’s ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects) and was announced in 2015. This technology can be used with wearables, mobile phones, computers, etc. It can solve the above-discussed problems by using a mini radar that detects or tracks the hands and fingers of the user. Thus, hand and finger gestures can control wearable devices, such as controlling volume, swiping through options, selecting options, and many more functions without even touching the small screen of wearable devices.

In a published patent (US9575560B2) filed by Google LLC, the invention introduces a radar-based gesture-recognition system integrated with a wearable device. The wearable device typically has a small screen. Still, with the integration of a radar-based gesture recognition system, which creates a localized radar field above the user’s hand, a user can make selections more efficiently on a wearable device. The invention includes a microwave radio element, an antenna, and a processor. The microwave element provides a localized radar field; the antenna element senses interaction in that localized radar field, and the processor processes that perceived interaction in the localized radar field to determine a gesture from sensed interaction and perform the specific task accordingly.

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