Virtual Back Hand Touchpad for Smart Watches

RotoView For Smart Watches
Virtual Touchpads For Smart Watches

Our latest development for smart watch interface utilizes side viewing cameras that monitor a virtual touchpad on the back of the hand. This new technology provides an easier and more accurate user interface to control smart watches and other wearable and portable devices with very small displays.

The Virtual Touchpad is Easier to Use

With this technology, a portion of the back of the hand is assigned as a virtual touchpad that maps the actual device's screen. The user controls and communicates with the smart watch by tapping the virtual touchpad area. The virtual touchpad typically provides a larger area than the device's screen, with a shape similar to the screen. Side-viewing cameras determine the touch points of the user's fingers on the virtual touchpad area.

Since the user controls the watch by tapping the virtual touchpad instead of tapping the actual screen, the finger does not obscure the small screen of the smart watch. As a result, selecting an icon is much easier when using the virtual touchpad, as shown in Fig. 1. Since the virtual touchpad area is significantly larger than the actual screen, this technology allows selection of icons that are too closely grouped on the screen display.


Back Hand Touchpad Icon Selection

Fig. 1: Icon selection by the virtual touchpad.


In the example illustrated in Fig. 1, ICON4 is selected when the user taps on the relative location of ICON4 on the virtual touchpad area.

Convenient Text Entry

The user can tap or drag one or more fingers on the virtual touchpad area, as if the fingers touch the actual watch screen. This virtual touchpad allows for a multitude of user controls and interface possibilities. Fig. 2 demonstrates how to enter text into the watch using the standard drag gesture on the virtual touchpad to draw the shape of the characters.


Back Hand Touchpad Text Entry

Fig. 2: Text entry by the virtual touchpad.


In this example, the user draws the letter "A" while entering the text, "you can start..." The watch's screen shows the previously entered characters while the user inserts the "a" for the word "start". Since the user drags on the virtual touchpad and not on the screen itself, the user can clearly see the previously entered characters, without the obstruction of the drawing finger that is likely to happen when the user draws directly on the screen.

Many other gestures, including drag, tap, double-tap, long press, pinch and others can be detected and implemented with this technology, providing a superior user experience when controlling and communicating with the smart watch.

Multiple Virtual Touchpads On Both Sides of the Smart Watch

This technology is suitable for other wearable and mobile devices, where an area adjacent to the device is used as the virtual touchpad. More than one virtual touchpads can be used, as demonstrated in Fig. 3, where two virtual touchpads are assigned on both sides of the watch. Each virtual touchpad can be used alone, and in some applications, special commands may be entered by tapping on both virtual touchpads at a preassigned order.

Multiple Virtual Touchpads

Fig. 3: Multiple virtual touchpads.



For more information on this patent pending technology, please review our related patent application US-2018-0188894-A1, published on July 05, 2018, tilted "Virtual Touchpads For Wearable and Portable Devices" by Dr. David Y. Feinstein.


RotoView IP portfolio


To add this new smart watch interface technology to your wearable devices, please contact Scott LaRoche, 1-281-879-6226, scott@innoventions.com, or use the following form.

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"If sliding our fingers up and down our phones feels like an intuitive scrolling motion today, simply tilting our screens may be the obvious choice of tomorrow when it comes to moving text around a screen. Thanks to a new patent awarded to Houston-based Innoventions Inc., reading an article may soon be as easy as changing your viewing angle."
Digital Trends, November 17, 2015

"Here's a technology that could put a new spin on moving and shaking... Don't be surprised if you see people waving their PDAs around."
PC Magazine, September 2003


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