The $600 smartwatch that can turn your arm into a touchscreen  

The smartwatch that can turn your arm into a touchscreen: Researchers unveil $600 wearable with finger-tracking technology that projects apps directly onto your SKIN

  • New prototype smartwatch can turn its owner’s arm into a working touchscreen
  • LumiWatch has 40 square cm of surface area and uses a laser projector  
  • It connects to WiFi and Bluetooth, and is expected to retail at around $600
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Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have debuted a smartwatch that has a built-in projector, turning the wearer’s arm or hand into a touchscreen.

The LumiWatch is the first of its kind to use a a fully-functional laser projector and sensor array – and with 40 square centimeters of interactive surface, it’s roughly five times larger than a standard smartwatch.

The wearable device supports an Android operating system, and can connect to Bluetooth and WiFi.

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The creators posted a video of the smartwatch in action this week, demonstrating the swipe-to-unlock mechanism and the continuous 2D finger-tracking abilities, as shown above

The LumiWatch’s creators posted a video of the prototype smartwatch in action this week, demonstrating the swipe-to-unlock mechanism and the continuous 2D finger-tracking abilities. 

The video shows the user unlocking the watch, opening apps, even editing photographs right on his arm. 

If it eventually retails, the device is expected to cost around $600, cheaper than many current smartwatches on the market.

The 15-lumen projection laser is bright enough so that the screen can be seen outside during the day. 


The 15-lumen projection laser is bright enough so that the screen can be seen outside in the sun. It even has a swipe-to-unlock feature to ensure that its user doesn’t do anything accidentally

HOW CAN A DEVICE TURN YOUR ARM INTO A TOUCHSCREEN?

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon have developed the first smartwatch that can turn the wearer’s arm into a usable touchscreen.

The LumiWatch works by projecting an interactive interface onto the arm or the hand.

The functional laser projector and depth sensor array allow for the projection to be swiped and tapped just like any smartphone or smartwatch.

It even has a swipe-to-unlock feature to ensure that its user doesn’t do anything accidentally.

The 15-lumen projection laser is bright enough so that the watch can be seen and used outside in the sun. 


Researchers at Carnegie Mellon Mellon University have created a smartwatch prototype that can turn its owner’s arm or hand into a fully-functioning touchscreen

The LumiWatch contains a Qualcomm1.2 Ghz quad-core CPU with Android 5.1, 768MB of RAM, 4GB of memory, and a 740 mAh lithium-ion battery that can last an entire day with occasional use, according to the researchers. 

‘Compact, worn computers with projected, on-skin touch interfaces have been a long-standing yet elusive goal, largely written off as science fiction,’ the researchers wrote. 

‘Such devices offer the potential to mitigate the significant human input/output bottleneck inherent in worn devices with small screens,’ he continued. 

‘In this work, we present the first, fully-functional and self-contained projection smartwatch implementation, containing the requisite compute, power, projection and touch-sensing capabilities.’ 


The functional laser projector and depth sensor array allow for the projection to be swiped and tapped just like any smartphone or smartwatch, making it the first of its kind

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