No matter how easy technology makes life, there will be more developments to make it easier. For instance, the smartwatch has been a trending gadget since last year because of the way it has eased data access and our connectivity to our smartphone. Things are only going to get better this year with a new kind of tech innovation that lets you control your smartwatch through your breath.

Why would you need this, you ask, when you have perfectly functional fingers to attend to your smartwatch? Well picture this, you’re rocking your baby to sleep in your arms and you see a call flashing on your smartwatch. You can’t suddenly lay down the baby you’ve been trying to get to sleep for over 30 minutes now, nor can you let the call startle the baby and ruin all your effort. Then what do you do when your hands are busy? You simply raise your arm a little higher and shush the watch by blowing on it. And voila, problem solved!

This interactive feature called Whoosh is developed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Through it, they intend to give smartwatch users more control over their device. The technique allows the wearer to do so by blowing, exhaling, shushing, sipping or puffing on the screen to activate various controls. This technology uses the smartwatch’s microphone and machine learning to identify the breath patterns of each acoustic event and accordingly assigns an action to it.

Here are some of the functions you can use through Whoosh.

  • Shush the watch to ignore calls.
  • Blow on the watch twice to accept calls.
  • You can use a combination of short and long breaths to lock and unlock the watch.
  • Blowing quickly on it can erase words you’ve been typing.
  • Blowing longer on your texts will send the message.
  • The wearer can transfer content from the watch to a smartphone by sipping it off the watch and puffing it on the smartphone.

Apart from Whoosh, there are other interactive techniques that are being developed to make using the smartwatch easier than ever. One such technique is called WatchOut that uses taps and scrolling gestures on the case and watchband outside the watch screen to control the watch.

The other project is called TapSkin that lets users input numbers into their smartwatch by tapping on the back of their hands. These numbers between 0-9 are basically commands that result in certain actions.

Such innovative hands-free tech not only makes using a smartwatch much easier but also helps people with disabilities.

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