Cito: An Actuated Smartwatch for Extended Interactions

Abstract

We propose and explore actuating a smartwatch face to enable extended interactions. Five face movements are defined: rotation, hinging, translation, rising, and orbiting. These movements are incorporated into interaction techniques to address limitations of a fixed watch face. A 20-person study uses concept videos of a passive low fidelity prototype to confirm the usefulness of the actuated interaction techniques. A second 20-person study uses 3D rendered animations to access social acceptability and perceived comfort for different actuation dynamics and usage contexts. Finally, we present Cito, a high-fidelity proof-of-concept hardware prototype that investigates technical challenges.

Publication
In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’17)
Date

Motivation

Exploiting the full potential of smartwatches requires useful and usable input and output. This is challenging considering the small form factor and wearable context. Existing research has primarily focused on smartwatch input with little work on output. We propose extending smartwatch output by physically actuating a watch face in five ways: rotating on its normal axis, hinging on side, rising vertically, translating along the forearm, and orbiting around the wristband. These movements can be used for a variety of new interactions. For example, when a user has dirty hands (e.g. gardening), the watch face can translate outside of a shirt sleeve to make it visible when a notification arrives. When a user is carrying something heavy, the watch face can orbit to a visible part of the watch band. When a user shows a picture on their watch to someone else, the face can hinge towards the other person to provide a better viewing angle.

Prototype

This is our proof-of-concept prototype using off-the-shelf electronic components.

Different modules:

Orbit-Rotate Module Hinge-Translate Module
Rise Module Top Side
Translating Hinging

For more details, please check our video and paper.

Selected Press Coverage

Discovery Channel (Canada): Cito on Daily Planet

EurekAlert: Dartmouth-led team develops smartwatch with all the moves

WAREABLE: Dartmouth researchers develop a smartwatch that can move on your wrist

The Dartmouth && ACM TechNews SIGCHI Edition (June 2017): Q&A with Ph.D. student and smartwatch designer Jun Gong