Patent awarded for virtual touchpad on user’s hand
A patent has been awarded to Innoventions which allows the back of the hand to become a virtual touchpad. The patent covers the use of the skin’s surface around a smartwatch for data and command entry. One or more cameras built into the side of the smartwatch facing the assigned virtual touchpad area detect touch gestures by the fingers on the virtual touchpad.
Sound and motion sensors that detect vibrations may also be incorporated to improve accuracy.
A key feature is the ability to distinguish between a true touching gesture (when the finger taps or drags the skin) and a hovering gesture (when the finger is above the skin, not touching it). This makes it useful in capturing the entered character by analysing the sequence of touching and hovering gestures.
“Since the user taps and drags on their hand via the virtual touchpad and not on the tiny smartwatch display, it is easier to interact as the user can clearly see the previously entered characters, without any obstruction,” said Dr. David Y. Feinstein, president and CTO of Innoventions.
“It also eliminates messing up the small screen when your hands are really sweaty and dirty.”
Many common gestures used in mobile devices, including drag, tap, double-tap, long press, pinch and others can be detected and implemented with this technology.