Today, we use smartwatches like the Samsung Galaxy Gear and Pebble to glance at updates and keep track of our health. In the future, however, wrist-worn gadgets could be used as a main hub to control the electronic devices around us and may even be able to detect our gaze and mood. At least that’s what Motorola has in its pipeline.
A recently uncovered Motorola patent describes a wearable electronic device that can be used to manipulate displays on mobile devices, computers and maybe even televisions. This bracelet would feature a flexible housing that would feature a display and multiple sensors for detecting how a user interacts with any given electronic device.
For example, an orientation sensor built into this wristband could detect whether your tablet is in landscape or portrait mode. The bracelet’s gaze detector would then work in conjunction with this orientation sensor to adjust images or information shown on the tablet based on where you’re looking. Other uses described in the document indicate that the gaze detection technology could be used to activate a portion of the display based on where you’re looking. The bracelet would also be compatible with touch and gesture input, according to the patent.
Motorola's wristband also could be programmed to switch out background images based on your mood, your health or when a preset timer expires. The patent hasn’t made it clear whether or not this means the background image on the wearable device would change or the wallpaper on accompanying mobile devices would switch as well.
The description makes it sound like the wearable gadget could have a “mood ring” type of effect, although it doesn’t specify how these sensors would determine the wearer’s emotional state. In its claims, the patent says that the control circuit in the bracelet would be able to change background images when a “predetermined criterion is met,” listing one of those criterion as “a detected mood of a wearer.”
While the patent describes a fresh take on wearable technology when compared to devices we’re seeing today, Motorola isn’t the only company experimenting with a wearable remote control solution. A recent patent from Microsoft describes a wearable arm band that can control your computer using gestures. The MYO arm band from Canadian startup Thalmic Labs serves a similar function, although none of these devices make any mention of gaze detection.