We’re (desperately) hoping that Google enters the smartwatch space later this year with the rumored Pixel Watch. It seems that Google will not only launch its first smartwatch, but could also help revolutionize how we interact with wearable devices.
A new patent was discovered by LetsGoDigital titled ‘Skin interface for Wearables: Sensor fusion to improve signal quality.’ As the name suggests, the patent would allow for your devices to be controlled by tapping your skin. For example, if you are wearing a set of Pixel Buds, you could tap on the side of your cheek in front of your ears to play or pause music.
The gestures shown off in this new patent also suggest that gestures could be used to interact with a smartwatch in different ways. Currently, there aren’t many wearables that can achieve this, with the only notable exception coming via Sony’s new LinkBuds headphones. Sony is using similar technology that allows you to tap on your skin to skip tracks, instead of using the gestures on the earbuds themselves.
Google originally filed for this patent back in 2020, but the WIPO only approved and published the patent on March 3, 2022. Unfortunately, there’s no mention of a specific device that would be available to take advantage of this technology. However, we can only assume that Google plans to eventually release wearables that support this functionality, or maybe it could be enabled with a simple software update in the future.
According to LetsGoDigital, the patent also includes the following description:
Using machine learning technology, the wearable can distinguish between movements that are not and are intended as input.This allows the user to nod, chew, scratch, walk and/or talk with his head without any problems, without this being detected as an input gesture by a user.
2022 could shape up to be an even bigger year than 2021 for Google. Not only are we hoping to see the Pixel Watch finally unveiled, but Google is also rumored to be working on a foldable smartphone, which could help push foldable phones even further into the mainstream.