2014-124 – Fixed-Image Interactive LED/Laser Projectors for Mobile Computers

Smart watches are an emerging computational form factor, made commercially viable by recent advances in miniaturization and battery technology. However, because they are small and our fingers are relatively large, their interfaces tend to be simplistic. Touchscreen smartwatches allow the watch face to be used for amultitude of interfaces, providing flexibility that physical buttons cannot, but suffer from lack of tactile feedback and finger occlusion. These issues would be partially mitigated if we could simply provide more space for interaction. However, simply making smart watches larger is not an option, as this would makethem more obtrusive. Thus one possible approach is to appropriate surface area around the watch forinteraction.To achieve this, CMU researchers created low cost, very small projectors that can render a fixed image onto the skin at an oblique angle. These properties make them suitable for inclusion into smartwatches, where they can extend the interactive area beyond the small screen. For example, a notification icon couldbe projected for missed calls or new messages. Infrared proximity sensors work in concert with these projectors to enable touch sensitivity. For example, tapping a pulsating text message icon could allow users to quickly jump to that message. In addition to providing a projection surface, the skin also provides usefultactile feedback Cindy Lou Chepanoske cchepano@andrew.cmu.edu 412-268-2979

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