Disney Goes Sci-Fi With This Smartwatch That Can Sense Your Touch!by Rajshree Faria November 13, 2015
Are you amongst the millions over the world who think that Disney is all about making beautiful cartoons and animated films? Did you believe that Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Donald were their only enterprises? Well, if you thought so then join the club as we did too! Until we heard what Disney Research spoke about at the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology at Charlotte, North Carolina this week… Turns out, researchers at Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University in collaboration have come up with a Smartwatch that can sense exactly what the wearer is touching!
The technique developed by the researchers is termed as ‘EM- sense’. How exactly does it work you ask?
That’s simple; our body acts like a conductor for the electromagnetic (EM) noise that the electrical or electromechanical devices emit, and the Disney smartwatch has an electrode which is able to discern between the various emissions. By identifying the electromagnetic noise, the Smartwatch can start various context- based apps.
Since we are talking about Disney, let’s put in more of our imagination to see how the EM-Sense smartwatch will work. You pick up your electric toothbrush in the morning; the dentist has recommended only two minutes of brushing and no more. If your Disney Smartwatch is strapped on, then it will automatically detect the presence of the toothbrush and start a timer. Simple yet ingenious, isn’t it?
Need a better idea of how this works? Imagine the smartwatch strapped to your wrist when you enter the kitchen and open the fridge door to take out the milk; you head to the stove to heat it up for breakfast. While you’re doing this the TV has been switched on and the news channel is on! How is that?? Did Mickey Mouse come in slyly to switch it on to your beloved news channel? Well, as amusing as that would be, it’s actually your smartwatch that did that.
The smartwatch senses and identifies the electromagnetic noise from your refrigerator and understands that you’ve come in for breakfast… and what do most people do when they’re eating breakfast? Watch the news of course! See how ‘smart’ this smartwatch is?!
Well, it is even more useful when driving! Your smartwatch would know when you are on wheels and would limit the phone calls and message notifications automatically to help you focus on driving.
According to Alanson Sample, one of the research scientists at Disney Research, there will be a better contextual understanding of what the user is doing thanks to the recognition of the devices or objects that they are in contact with.
Although in its nascent stage, the EM- Sense technology will be able to support a whole lot of functions, especially when it will be paired up with a smartphone and its various apps. The possibilities that this technology will bring with it is endless. The smartwatch which was developed by modifying a simple low-cost wearable radio has the potential to revolutionize our whole idea of a ‘Smartwatch’. Its increased capabilities will act as more than a ‘second screen’ of a smartphone if designed right.
Who would’ve thought that the soft and sweet sounding Disney could come up with something as epic as this, huh?