Pixel Watch users might swipe on their skin to control the wearable device



This is shaping up to be the year when Google introduces its first Pixel Watch. Marketing images have leaked revealing a timepiece with a round dial. The device will have Wear OS installed and just as it does with its Pixel phones, Google will give the watch exclusive features that other Wear OS watches won’t receive.
One of these features might have been discovered by LetsGoDigital in a mid-2020 patent filing made to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) by Google called “Skin interface for Wearables: Sensor fusion to improve signal quality.”

With the technology mentioned in the patent application, Pixel Watch users would be able to use gestures on their skin that could help control the watch. Something similar is also possible for what Let’sGoDigital sees as a Pixel Buds Pro variant of Google’s True Wireless Earbuds. With this so-called “skin interface,” gestures such as swipes or taps are made on the user’s skin in areas that are close to where the wearable is being worn.

For earbuds, the skin in front of the ear could be a good place to do “skin gestures.” For a device like the Pixel Watch, the wrist, the forearm, or the back of the hand could be the perfect locations for a swipe gesture to be made.

The “skin interface” would represent a new input option for earbuds, smartwatches, and even smart glasses. Gestures made on the skin work because they create a “mechanical wave” that can be read by the wearable device using multiple sensors and an accelerometer. Last month Sony introduced a feature called ‘Wide Area Tap’ for its Link Buds that can determine when the user tapped on the skin in front of his ear which is followed by an input gesture.

In 2018, Huawei was working on a similar system for a smartwatch. Users would write a letter using one of their fingers pressing on the skin and the letter would appear on the smartwatch display. Meanwhile, once Google’s tech receives a patent, it will be left up to the tech giant to decide whether it wants to include the “skin interface” on the Pixel Watch and/or a newly updated Pixel Buds model.

We could see the Pixel Watch introduced in May during the Google I/O Developer Conference. As for the next version of the Pixel Buds, there has been nothing but radio silence.





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