source : www.androidcentral.com
What you need to know
- Wareable discovered a Google patent application titled “Gesture recognition on watch bezel using strain gauges.”
- The patent shows sensors along the edge of a watch face, with “sliding” or “pinch” gestures along the edge of the screen.
- The Samsung Galaxy Watch series popularized the concept of a digital bezel as a replacement for the physical rotating bezel.
- Fitbit (owned by Google) often uses capacitive buttons that you press to activate.
Samsung and Google are working closely on Wear OS software for the Galaxy Watch and Pixel Watch. Soon, the Pixel Watch 3, based on a Google patent, could move closer in line to the Galaxy Watch 6 by replacing the haptic crown with a capacitive touch bezel – just with a signature Google twist.
Wareable discovered this US patent listing from Google, which showed a smartwatch with sensors in the edge of the screen and no crown in sight. The patent calls crowns “reasonably efficient,” essentially condemning them with faint praise, and concludes that some users “may prefer to remove the crown.”
Instead, this hypothetical Pixel Watch design would allow users to “touch, tap, swipe, pinch, or otherwise interact with a surface of the case to trigger a particular response.”
In some visuals of the patent in action, you can see the user swiping their finger across the edge of the screen to increase or decrease the volume in a music app. Later, they suggest squeezing the display at either end to pause a song, open a notification, or turn off the display.
In other examples, they suggest unique gestures, such as swiping left on the bottom of the screen to switch to a new app or feature. Or you can press and hold a specific portion of the touch edge to activate or deactivate a specific feature, such as a flashlight in the bottom right corner.
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While there’s no guarantee that Google will use the patent’s design in the Pixel Watch 3 next year (or at all), it’s an intriguing idea.
In our Pixel Watch 2 review, Andrew Myrick noted that Google made the crown larger to make it easier to hold, but also had to add more resistance so it doesn’t spin accidentally. It’s a delicate balance with ‘potential pitfalls’ such as being annoying to turn during daily use or the crown poking into your skin when you flex your wrist during exercises.
Removing the crown completely would give the Pixel Watch 3 a more balanced design and shed a few grams of weight. This patent design would also remove the second dedicated button for Google Assistant in lieu of touch controls.
As for possible negatives, this patented system sounds complicated and will undoubtedly be picky. The proposal describes the following gestures to be recognized: “upward swipe, short or long swipe, fast or slow swipe, horizontal or vertical swipe, swipe along different edges of the case, long taps or short taps, multiple taps within a time threshold ( for example, double-tapping), pinching hard or soft, pinching in different locations, etc.’
You have to imagine that any touch-dependent UI will occasionally mix up a tap and a swipe, how long you intended to swipe or how hard you intended to press. The patent itself points out the importance of calculating the “force, position and/or speed of the active finger detection”.
So it’s fair to assume that Google is proposing all of these hypothetical features, but could limit the number of features the Pixel Watch 3 would use depending on how accurate its edge readings can be in practice.
Google and its partners have used pinch gestures to activate features in the past. The Pixel 2 lets you summon Google Assistant by squeezing the sides of the phone, while Google-owned Fitbit has released several watches and trackers with a capacitive button that you press to activate, including the new Fitbit Charge 6 .
Naturally, Fitbit removed those capacitive buttons from the Sense and Versa smartwatch series because the gesture didn’t always work and because a physical button was more reliable. Fortunately, the Charge 6’s capacitive button at least functioned as intended during our testing.
Samsung has used a capacitive touch edge from 2019’s Galaxy Watch Active 2 to this year’s Galaxy Watch 6, although many people for the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic will pay extra for the physical rotating bezel, which gives you more reliable operation.
We assume (and hope) that the Pixel Watch’s edge-to-edge display makes swiping with your fingers more intuitive than on the flat Galaxy Watch 6. Conversely, the chance of accidental touches is much higher, especially if you watch used for sleeping. to follow. We can only make assumptions and guesses until we can try this technology out for ourselves.
Finally, the patent explains that this technology can be used for other devices such as smartphones, earbuds, AR or VR headsets, smart glasses or ‘smart motorcycle helmets’. Whether or not the Pixel Watch series goes this touch-edge route, it’s clear that Google is interested in using the technology some of its future devices across all categories.
source : www.androidcentral.com