The New Technology Improves the Sensing Accuracy of Smart Watches by 100 Times

It is no secret that consumers' curiosity about smart watches is decreasing. Sales of smart watches have been declining since 2016. According to IDC statistics, the shipments of Apple watch alone this summer decreased by 70% compared with the same period last year. Industry insiders believe that the single function, low practical value and battery life limit are the main reasons for the sluggish sales.

But the good news has come: Recently, the research team of Carnegie Mellon University has found a way to greatly enhance the function of the smart watch. The smart watch will not only measure the steps of the wearer, but also monitor your gestures and movements, and even recognize objects.

Through the perceived wrist movement, "traditional" smart watches can know when you are walking, cycling, or raising your wrist to watch the time. But now it seems that smart watches can do more than that - they can also detect when you sneeze, hold your fist, hold your cell phone or drive. In fact, this only requires a "simple" upgrade: to improve the sensing accuracy of the smart watch sensor by 100 times.

Carnegie Mellon University researchers call the system viband. By "pressurizing" (increasing the load) the accelerometer of an ordinary smart watch, it can sense extremely subtle vibration: it can monitor the vibration of the engine, the change of a note on the guitar, or the subtle movement of your palm.

The secret of this technology lies in the accelerometer. A normal accelerometer records 20-100 object movements (100Hz) per second, which is enough to monitor whether the wearer is walking or running, but that's all. However, Carnegie Mellon's Chris Harrison team noticed an interesting detail.

Harrison said: "the technical parameters of the accelerometer indicate 'maximum speed 4000 Hz'. Compared with the instructions given by the smartphone, it can actually record the movement of objects at a speed more than 100 times its speed." Harrison's team believes that giving full play to the potential of the accelerometer must make it feel something interesting.

It does perceive something interesting. Even if the vibration must be transmitted to the smart watch through the human body, the "bone filled with liquid (bone marrow)" in the human body will have a great impact on the vibration; However, the high-frequency vibration emitted by each object is unique, and the accelerometer can still make accurate judgment instantly through the acoustic characteristics.

At first, the research team wanted to apply the technology to a scene similar to "turning on the light with a snap of fingers", but they thought it was "fake". Harrison said that the more interesting point is that the wearer's arm is regarded as an extension of the sensor. The smart watch can detect what you are holding at any time, and can also judge whether you are in the car or in the kitchen.

Imagine a stopwatch that starts immediately when you pick up your toothbrush (automatically records how long you brush your teeth, of course, it can also record other activities), and an electronic map that opens immediately on your mobile phone when you touch the map of a building. Imagine a smart watch that can not only judge what digital device you are using, but also know that you are sitting at your desk. This technology can also be combined with electronic and wireless sensors to send signals from smart watches to enhance the ability of object recognition (like Tesla).

Harrison said: "various people in the industry are contacting us. Their idea is' I didn't know that smart watches were so powerful '. The capabilities demonstrated by our technology can be applied to the products of apple, Samsung or any manufacturer cooperating with us - because this technology is completely realized by software. "

This is not the first time that Harrison lab has enhanced the function of smart watches. In previous experiments, they let the smart watch monitor the position of close fingers, or the position of fingers poked on the skin of arms and palms.

Harrison finally said, "smart watches can only match an inch screen. How to enhance human-computer interaction without a large screen? This is our research topic in the past five years."

The team's achievements have been rated as one of the four best papers by the Association for computing machine's user interface software and Technology Symposium in Tokyo.

Summary: the function of accurately recognizing gestures and hand-held objects has once again refreshed our understanding of smart watches. Moreover, the technology uses the existing hardware, which means that it can be quickly popularized to the existing smart watch products with low cost. The only thing that worries Xiaobian is whether beating chicken blood on the accelerometer will compromise on product stability, energy consumption and service life? As long as this problem is solved, there is no doubt that viband technology has broad application prospects. From VR gesture recognition to work assistance in professional fields, with the blessing of viband, the smart watch is one step closer to becoming our AI assistant. Many people are convinced that in the near future, we will not hear questions such as "smart watches are chicken ribs" and "single function". Now it seems that this day may be close at hand.

The New Technology Improves the Sensing Accuracy of Smart Watches by 100 Times 1

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