You’ve likely been in a meeting before where one of your coworkers was constantly shaking his or her wrist to glance at the time or read a text, or perhaps you’ve had to awkwardly position your own watch in order to show someone else a photo or other information. Since society has now gone from having to reach inside of a pocket to see the latest “important” update to a world where you simply have to move your wrist, maybe the next stage in this evolution is to not have to move your wrist at all.
That’s the idea behind Cito, a Dartmouth-led team’s smartwatch prototype that can adjust itself in five different directions. With the ability to rotate, hinge, translate, rise, and orbit, the device was designed to improve functionality and overcome limitations of today’s fixed watch faces.
Possible interactions include angling and tilting to provide a better view when carrying something, poking out of a long-sleeved shirt when your hands are dirty or wet, and acting as a form of haptic feedback. Aside from that, Cito can continuously rotate when you receive an incoming emergency call, hinge open and close like a mouth for lunchtime reminders, as well as help you navigate while keeping messages easily readable.
Cito consists of an LCD display and a modular mechanical system supporting all five face movements using gear motors. The motors and sensors are controlled by an Arduino Due, which is wirelessly connected to a laptop over Bluetooth.
As you can see from the video here, Cito is clearly still an early proof-of-concept, though certainly interesting to say the least. You can read more about the Dartmouth researcher’s project in their paper.[h/t EurekAlert]