Nav: Home

Dartmouth-led team develops WristWhirl, a smartwatch prototype using wrist as a joystick

October 14, 2016

Checking email, tracking fitness, and listening to music, are just a few things that a smartwatch can do but what if your hands aren't free (i.e. carrying groceries or holding a bus handle)? A Dartmouth-led team has come up with a solution by developing WristWhirl-- a smartwatch prototype that uses the wrist wearing the watch as an always-available joystick to perform common touch screen gestures with one-handed continuous input.

For a video about WristWhirl, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTPzeZGiI8w&t=10s.

The WristWhirl project will be presented at the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology on October 19.

"While other studies have explored the use of one-handed continuous gestures using smartwatches, WristWhirl is the first to explore gestural input. Technology like ours shows what smartwatches may be able to do in the future, by allowing users to interact with the device using one hand (the one that the watch is worn on) while freeing up the other hand for other tasks," said Xing-Dong Yang, assistant professor of computer science at Dartmouth.

To develop the WristWhirl prototype, researchers investigated the biomechanical ability of the wrist by tasking a small group of participants to conduct eight joystick-like gestures while standing and walking. Participants wore the watch on their left wrist and were asked to use their wrist to make four directional marks similar to flicking a touch screen, and four free-form shapes, such as a triangle. They were asked to make these gestures with their hand-up in front of their body during which they could see the gesture being drawn on the watch's screen, and with their hand-down alongside their body. They were able to make directional marks at an average rate of half a second and free-form shapes at an average rate of approximately 1.5 seconds. Visual feedback appeared to slow participants down, as they were slowest at performing the tasks when their hand was out in front of them and fastest when their hand was down alongside their body.

To measure the accuracy of the free-form paths drawn using Wrist-Whirl, researchers used the $1 gesture recognizer and found that it was able to recognize the marks with a 93.8 percent accuracy as compared to 85 percent accuracy by three human inspectors.

WristWhirl was built from a 2" TFT display and a plastic watch strap augmented with 12 infrared proximity sensors and a Piezo vibration sensor placed inside the wrist strap, which is connected to an Arduino DUE board, a type of microcontroller board.

Four usage scenarios for WristWhirl using off-the-shelf games and Google Map were tested: 1) a gesture shortcuts app was created, which allowed users to access shortcuts by drawing gestures; 2) a music player app was created, which allowed users to scroll through songs through wrist-swipes and play a selected song by double tapping the thumb and index fingers; 3) a map app was implemented for which 2D maps could be panned and zoomed depending on where the watch was held in relation to one's body; and 4) game input, which often requires continuous input was tested, for which Tetris was played using a combination of wrist swipes, wrist extension and wrist flexion.
-end-
Xing-Dong Yang is available for comment at xing-dong.yang@dartmouth.edu. Jun Gong, a graduate student in Dartmouth's department of computer science and Pourang Irani, professor of computer science at the University of Manitoba, also served as study co-authors.

Broadcast studios: Dartmouth has TV and radio studios available for interviews. For more information, visit: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~opa/radio-tv-studios/

Dartmouth College

Related Gestures Articles:

How do babies coordinate gestures and vocalization?
Asier Romero-Andonegi, Aintzane Etxebarria-Lejarreta, Ainara Romero-Andonegi and Irati de Pablo-Delgado, lecturers and researchers at the UPV/EHU's Faculty of Education in Bilbao, have studied how 9 to 13-month-old babies tackle the shift from early babbling to the use of combinations of gestures and speech.
Gesturing can boost children's creative thinking
Encouraging children to use gestures as they think can help them come up with more creative ideas, according to research in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
Repurposed sensor enables smartwatch to detect finger taps and other bio-acoustic signals
A smartwatch is capable of detecting and distinguishing a variety of taps, flicks and scratches by the hands and fingers, and all that's required is a software upgrade that repurposes the device's existing accelerometer, Carnegie Mellon University researchers discovered.
Dartmouth-led team develops WristWhirl, a smartwatch prototype using wrist as a joystick
Checking email, tracking fitness, and listening to music, are just a few things that a smartwatch can do but what if your hands aren't free?
Great apes communicate cooperatively
Gestural communication in bonobos and chimpanzees shows turn-taking and clearly distinguishable communication styles.
That new baby isn't imitating you
For decades, there have been studies suggesting that human babies are capable of imitating facial gestures, hand gestures, facial expressions, or vocal sounds right from their first weeks of life after birth.
Gestures improve communication -- even with robots
In the world of robot communication, it seems actions speak louder than words.
Seeing isn't required to gesture like a native speaker
People the world over gesture when they talk, and they tend to gesture in certain ways depending on the language they speak.
Smartphone security: Why doodling trumps text passwords
Someday soon, you may be able to log into your smartphone with sweeping gestures or doodling, using one or more fingers.
Sounds can help develop speech and gestures in children with autism
Children with autism and other similar conditions often have difficulties in several areas of communication.

Related Gestures Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Jumpstarting Creativity
Our greatest breakthroughs and triumphs have one thing in common: creativity. But how do you ignite it? And how do you rekindle it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas on jumpstarting creativity. Guests include economist Tim Harford, producer Helen Marriage, artificial intelligence researcher Steve Engels, and behavioral scientist Marily Oppezzo.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".