iWatch as gesture control interface

iWatch as gesture control interface

With rumors of an Apple iWatch swirling, speculation over potential feature sets and use cases are swirling with them. Designer Neven Mrgan has an interesting one:

Today it occurred to me that it could have an interesting use: acting as a gestural, accelerometer-based, Kinect-like remote.

Or like a wearable Wii-mote or PlayStation move. Go read the rest of it to see how Mrgan thinks it could be used.

Source: Neven Mrgan

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

iWatch as gesture control interface


Short, sweet, nice thoughts but as someone who was so against all things apple, I'm not so sure about the gestures aspect. 5 years ago i needed a new computer, walked into the Palo Alto Apple store, stood around confused, played with a Mac for a few minutes, didn't get it or understand all the hype, and walked out. One year later i was buying an iPhone, and now everyone in my family owns Apple gear based on my selfish recommendation. The simple user interface is the gateway to everything, and confusion is the barrier to anything new. Don't get me wrong, I'm getting a MYO controller this year if/when I upgrade to an actual computer. As for this iBand, I don't think it will require a lot of interaction, it will most likely enable an expanded connection to everything else Apple. So yes, it would make a great remote for the current AppleTV, and as an easy connection to every other iCloud device, I don't think it will start as complex as he predicts. I do however think it will be much more than an Apple style Pebble. I also left off the term "watch" just yesterday in my comments regarding what I was looking for iOS7. I agree with it being the more logical next arena to play in. Also I think just like a home button is needed on the iPhone it will need a screen but that doesn't mean it would be a traditional one.

This ties in perfectly with the thread I created about natural voice versus gestures. I believe a a blend of the two is the way to go and if iPhone becomes natural voice and the iWatch is gesture based, that would be fantastic. Gestures and voice combined into one beautiful blend of natural movement and be the start of a new era of body and device working seamlessly as one.

Neven Mrgan pretty much just laid out an iBand in his article instead of the actual iWatch! I mean, it IS cool to have a gesture-based device, but if Apple would make one (I highly doubt it), they wouldn't call it a iWatch and just brand them as two seperate things!

The most important gesture the iWatch will need to recognize is lifting your arm and rotating your wrist so you can see the screen. This gesture should turn on the screen and activate the Siri or eye tracking features. A touch screen is nice but it won't work well while running or just walking and putting the iWatch to sleep when you are not looking at it will be essential for preserving the battery.

I don't see Apple doing it that way honestly but seems cool for sure. I'd be happy wi just having notifications and Siri linked to it honestly. Anything else is a bonus.

Here is why I hate tech rumors: they get me SUPER pumped about the possibility of technology in its next form (in this case, a "watch"). First we hear that sources within Apple all but verify the existence of some sort of "iWatch"; then everybody gets their ideas as to what it has the potential for, and what abilities they think it will have (and the ideas are AWESOME); then Apple sits on the tech/patent for any number of years while they perfect it (if they have even decided to act on it, at all); and in the meantime, we are all impatiently waiting to see if/when Apple releases it, and what of our ideas they have actually implemented. I'm far too impatient for the rumor mill!

Anyway, back to the article and comments: I agree with grangerfx. The only difference in opinion I have, is that I believe this is the only necessary gesture recognition (with the possibility of proximity sensor, as a secondary action to the gesture control, to bring up siri if the device is close enough to the face). I like all the other ideas, I just don't know how practical it is for EVERYBODY. I have an iMac, two iPads and two Apple TV's, but I would venture to say that most people aren't trying to create an iHome the way I am. Therefore I feel this would be most useful (and most widely adopted) as merely an iPhone (or data connected iPad) complement.

A proximity sensor is the most important part. It needs to be able figure out when the screen needs to turn on otherwise it won't be worth it due to battery constraints.

I think gesture would be cool. I don't think the first iteration of the iWatch or whatever it would be called will include a feature like this. The man without the vowels is thinking outside of the box which I like and Apple has been known by that kind of thinking. I think Siri and notifications...oh yeah and tell time please...maybe different types of watches so you can just change the band for different occasions would be cool too.