Smartwatch concept projects navigation buttons onto your skin

In case you’ve missed the past year of technology developments (or Apple product launches), the smartwatch is the rising star of wearable tech. Software developers, mobile manufacturers, and fashion designers alike are betting on societal adoption of wrist-toting technology. Yet, for all the hooplah, smartwatch enthusiasts have ignored a user experience concern their device presents: as great as the technology is, small watch screens are hard to navigate with human fingers.

Traditional watch design and the physical constraints of watch-wearing (how much weight our wrists can comfortably support) limit how large smartwatch interfaces can expand. In a creative response to device constraints, researchers at Carnegie Mellon have expanded the interactive area of smartwatches by projecting responsive buttons onto users’ skin.

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