Smartwatch Design Is Controlled Solely By Twisting And Clicking The Face


Researchers at Carnegie Mellon have developed a device that responds to motion.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 15 may 2014

Though touchscreens have revolutionized how users interface with smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets, they are not always suited for devices with small screens like a smartwatch, for example.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have created a prototype smartwatch that can be controlled through different types of movements, such as tilting, twisting, and clicking.

The smartwatch prototype that the team created supports 2D panning and twist, and binary tilt and click. Its main components include a 1.5 inch LCD color display, an ARM processor, and a pair of Hall-effect joystick sensors that capture 2D movements. The configuration of the components allows users to pan the display, as well as twist, tilt, and click. The device is connected to a host computer that is running a program which processes the inputs and runs an app on the smartwatch.


The research group has developed a series of applications to illustrate how their project can expand the functions of a smartwatch. The team created a map application to demonstrate the 2D panning and zoom functions of their prototype. Pushing on the watch face pans the map and users can apply varying force to control the speed of the panning and zooming.

The research team also created a watch application to demonstrate how twisting and clicking can set the time or an alarm. They also created a camera application that uses the twist-and-click motion to zoom the camera and snap photos.

To demonstrate four-way navigation, the team created a music application and users can pan to the right or left to browse menu items and scroll through lists. Users can also twist the watch to adjust the volume, and click to play or pause music tracks.

The team posted a video that shows how a user can interact with the prototype smartwatch. The video also shows the user play the video game Doom, which the researchers ported into the watch to demonstrate its potential for gaming.

The researcher team, which includes Human-Computer Interaction assistant professor Chris Harrison and his colleagues Robert Xiao and Gierad Laput, is part of the Future Interfaces Group, an interdisciplinary research laboratory within the university’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute. They presented a paper on the project at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems held recently in Toronto.

Watch the video below to see the smartwatch prototype work.

[h/t] Technology Review


General Electric: Lighting’s Impact On Sleep Is More Than The Off Switch

Travel Today

Thirty Year Old Photographs Used As Travel Guides

A new photo series revolves around tracing the origins of images from the past

Gaming & Play Today

IKEA Is Letting Kids Design Its New Line Of Toys

The products are taken from fanciful drawings that showcase the imagination of those who use it most


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Technology Today

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

Health Today

VR App Prescribed For Pain Relief

A pharmacy chain in Sweden is stepping away from tradition to develop a happy place for the pain-afflicted

Related Expert

Yasser Ansari

Design and Engineering, Internet

Retail Today

Banks Are Coming Together To Create A New Payment Network That Rivals Venmo

A number of financial institutions are collaborating to make a new person-to-person monetary system called Zelle for their customers

Media & Publishing Today

Pocket Camera Aims To Facilitate The Struggles Of Live Streams

The Mevo helps resolve the complexities of streaming video with an intuitive setup and smart editing controls

Food Today

Startup Believes Traceability Will Help Disrupt The Multivitamin Industry

Ritual is a daily supplement for women that traces every ingredient back to its source


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

Creative Leadership Expert: Experiencing A Seismic Shift From Brand Loyalty To Interface Loyalty

Marc Shillum, founder of Chief Creative Office, explains why product designers must rethink the way they capture consumer attention

PSFK Labs october 25, 2016

The Keys For Exceptional Performance On And Off The Field

PSFK Labs' new report highlights five important insights for businesses to perform better than the competition

Food Today

Photo Series Brutally Murders Some Of Your Favorite Fast Food

The portraits by artist duo Ilka & Franz do away with mealtime regulars in a way that is both beautiful and humorous

Mobile Today

Coffeemaker Teaches You How To Make The Perfect Cup

The device comes with an accompanying app that guides novices and experts alike through the brewing process

Brand Development Today

The Story Behind How LYNK & CO Created A Car Brand From Scratch

Head of Design Andreas Nilsson describes which values were most influential in determining the identity and design direction of the new auto company

Travel Today

Architect’s Design Presents A Radically New Approach For New York’s Penn Station

The firm of Vishaan Chakrabarti has envisioned a bright community and travel hub in the heart of the city

Fitness & Sport Today

Editorial Roundtable: Building An All-Encompassing Performance Suite

WHOOP, ShotTracker, Rithmio, PlaySight, STYR Labs, EverybodyFights and Lift / Next Level Floats on the partnership opportunities available in health and fitness

Health Today

Fantasy Game Responds To Each Player’s Emotions

The card battling venture measures responses through a Bluetooth clip to adjust the experience accordingly

Luxury Today

Carry A Map Of NYC On A Handbag

The bag from Bottega Veneta has been designed exclusively for Bergdorf Goodman to celebrate New York City

Technology Today

Roaming Robots Crawl Around Your Body To Do Small Jobs As You Go About Your Day

A new concept wearable developed by researchers at MIT and Stanford are fully functional bots that live on your clothing

No search results found.