What the CUFF? Nokia shows how a smartwatch really OUGHT to work
Just waiting for the technology to make it possible
Video Boffins working for Nokia have knocked together a prototype smartwatch with six screens, and patented the ways in which one might use it should such a thing ever become technically practical.
The Nokia Facet isn't a product, it isn't even a prototype, but the functional model lets Nokia engineers work out how one might interact with a multi screen smartwatch, and get some patents to protect their ideas which are worth watching if only for the catchy backing track.
The bracelet features six screens, wirelessly connected and aware of their proximity, enabling applications to be swiped between screens or expended to cover multiple screens, and it's the method by which those actions are triggered which Nokia is interested in exploring.
Expanding an app, for example, involves resting one finger on the app's current screen while swiping another finger down the screen to which one wishes to expand it.
This is just the kind of stuff Apple has been parading in the courts lately, so it's no surprise to see Nokia taking such a lead. Watching the video one is reminded of the seminal work on "Pads, Tabs and Screens" carried out by Xerox Parc back in the day.
Researchers then worked with "pads" (or fondleslabs as we would come to know them) using infrared networking and an active stylus reliant on detection coils under the screen – hardware which was entirely impractical but enabled the researchers to experiment with usage models and interface elements to predict the future.
Nokia Facet is in a similar mold, and along with the video there's an academic paper presented at the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, and (in stark contrast to Parc) the aforementioned patent as spotted by Engadget and cover the interface elements we might all be using one day. ®