Samsung has filed a new patent. A smartwatch that would project virtual user interfaces onto a wearer’s hand or forearm. The laser would also project touch-sensitive “buttons” onto the hand, forearm or length of the arm that could provide a larger. Less-cumbersome means for the wearer to better interact with their watch.
Sketches from the patent show a smartwatch projecting a dial pad, notifications, menu options, and even a writing surface onto the back of a person’s hand and forearm. A wearer is seen interacting with these interfaces outside the smartwatch.
According to the patent description.
“the wearable device includes an image projector configured to project a virtual user interface screen. A camera configured to capture an image. A processor configured to detect a target area from the image captured by the camera.”
In other words, a small projector beams certain UI elements onto the user’s skin. A camera keeps an eye on and “reads” the user’s interaction with the beamed UI. The information is then processed by a chipset and translated into actions.
The patent also describes the type of information that might be projected. For example, when using a map application on the smartwatch, secondary information regarding businesses, landmarks, points of interest and so on can be projected on the wearer’s skin and act as additional screen real-estate.
The processor may provide visual feedback onto a virtual UI screen according to a user touch interaction with respect to virtual UI screen. Processor is capable to change the color of virtual UI element, touched by User.
The system would recognize the simple tap, handwriting and gestures. The patent also suggests, that it can be used for “head mounted display” devices. Like VR or something more to Microsoft’s HoloLens.
The patent was discovered recently, but it was filed in November 2014. This is just a patent yet, and there’s no news that Samsung is developing this technology. But it would be great to see the technology into action.