Recreating Dick Tracy's wrist radio with the expected arrival of Apple Watch

January 30, 2015

Conceptualized from Dick Tracy's wrist radio, the Apple Watch will not only allow users to communicate with anybody using a smartphone, but is also expected to immerse users into the experience of telexistance: the sensation of their counterparts being physically in front of them, through the ability to feel their heartbeats while sharing their sense of humour.

The image of Dick Tracy talking to a wrist watch to anyone using the same device, within a certain distance, puts the concept of mobile communication in a nutshell. Mobile devices have come a long way. From the car-bound radio communications in the 1920s, to the two-way 'Walkie-Talkie' developed for the US Army Signal Corps by (then) Motorola in the 1940s -- it took breakthroughs in battery technology to bring the weight of Motorola's whooping 16kg Walkie-Talkies down to today's sub-130g smartphones, along with the advancement in VLSI technology (integrated circuits), to complete the jigsaw puzzle, enabling us to carry our smart mobile devices in our pockets. All these basic components that make up a mobile device must be able to support each other mutually. An example we can follow in modern times is Google's Project Ara.

However, it is not enough to have all these components just 'work together'. The user must be involved. The Dick Tracy Dream was to create a wearable device that engages three out of our five senses (to hear, to see, and to feel or touch). The advancement of haptic interfaces to support tapping gestures on the Watch to select, or press harder for what Apple calls "Force Touch" that works like the right-click function on a mouse, or a Multi Touch interface in the Watch's "Digital Crown" -- to zoom in and out of the screen -- vibration alert functions, integrated monitoring and measurement capabilities (e.g. the accelerometer function), and the heartbeat monitor on the back of the Apple Watch, delivers the full immersion.

Understanding user experience is the result of a confluence of technologies, Immersion Design has taking a system level approach to developing haptic solutions to provide natural and realistic touch effects, while also inventing new contexts in which users experience haptics. Two forthcoming titles ideal for techies and Apple enthusiasts who wish to better understand the haptic technology behind these interfaces are Robot Hands and Multi-Fingered Haptic Interfaces (by Haruhisa Kawasaki; Gifu University, Japan) and Telexistence (by Susumu Tachi; University of Tokyo and Keio University, Japan). (Prof. Kawasaki is the inventor of the concept and phrase "Telexistence".)
-end-
Robot Hands retails at US$128 / £24 with Telexistence at US$98 / £65. More information can be found at: http://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/9400 and http://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/9248 respectively.

World Scientific

Related Mobile Devices Articles from Brightsurf:

How mobile apps grab our attention
Aalto University researchers alongside international collaborators have done the first empirical study on how users pay visual attention to mobile app designs.

No association found between exposure to mobile devices and brain volume alterations in adolescents
New study of 2,500 Dutch children is the first to explore the relationship between brain volume and different doses of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields

Mobile devices blur work and personal privacy raising cyber risks, says QUT researcher
Organisations aren't moving quickly enough on cyber security threats linked to the drive toward using personal mobile devices in the workplace, warns a QUT privacy researcher.

Multi-mobile (M2) computing system makes android & iOS apps sharable on multiple devices
Computer scientists at Columbia Engineering have developed a new computing system that enables current, unmodified mobile apps to combine and share multiple devices, including cameras, displays, speakers, microphones, sensors, and GPS, across multiple smartphones and tablets.

The use of mobile phone and the development of new pathologies
Professor Raquel Cantero of the University of Malaga (UMA) has identified a generational change in the use of this finger due to the influence of new technologies.

Mobile devices don't reduce shared family time, study finds
The first study of the impact of digital mobile devices on different aspects of family time in the UK has found that children are spending more time at home with their parents rather than less -- but not in shared activities such as watching TV and eating.

Mobile, instant diagnosis of viruses
In a first for plant virology, a team from CIRAD recently used nanopore technology to sequence the entire genomes of two yam RNA viruses.

Wearable devices and mobile health technology: one step towards better health
With increasing efforts being made to address the current global obesity epidemic, wearable devices and mobile health ('mHealth') technology have emerged as promising tools for promoting physical activity.

Mobile health devices diagnose hidden heart condition in at-risk populations
New research shows wearable mobile health devices improved the rate of diagnosis of a dangerous heart condition called atrial fibrillation.

Ultrasound-firewall for mobile phones
Mobile phones and tablets through so-called audio tracking, can be used by means of ultrasound to unnoticeably track the behaviour of their users: for example, viewing certain videos or staying in specific rooms and places.

Read More: Mobile Devices News and Mobile Devices Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.