REVOLUTION: LumiWatch smartwatch turns your arm into a touchscreen

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Like the idea of a device that doesn’t need to be picked up or carried around?

You might be impressed by the prototype for the LumiWatch, a new smartwatch from Carnegie Mellon University researchers that turns your arm or hand into a touchscreen.

The fully functional and self-contained LumiWatch uses a bright, 15-lumen projection module and touch sensor to give you a touchscreen interface right on your body. Just tap and swipe directly on your own skin to open the device and control apps.

The researchers presented their paper on the interface this week at the SIGCHI (Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction) conference in Canada.

The smartwatch runs on Android 5.1 and can connect to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It features a Qualcomm 1.2 GHz quad-core CPU, 768MB of RAM, 4GB of flash memory and a 740 mAh lithium-ion battery.

The prototype watch measures about 2 inches by 1.6 inches by 0.66 inches (50 millimeters by 41 millimeters by 17 millimeters).

In a video posted this week, the LumiWatch prototype is shown in action, with users swiping and tapping colorful projected images on their arms. The users also demonstrate the continuous 2D finger-tracking capabilities.

Once in production, the LumiWatch is expected to cost around $600 (roughly £435, AU$791).

While this prototype is groundbreaking when it comes to touchscreen projections, it isn’t the first projector smartwatch. In February, tech company Haier released the Asu Smartwatch, which uses a tiny projector to beam images onto the user’s arm.

The Asu Smartwatch has 1GB of memory inside, is powered by a 1.2GHz processor, and includes an integrated fitness tracker, a stopwatch, a heart-rate sensor, GPS, 4G LTE support and a gyroscope.

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