Virtual Back Hand Touchpad for Smart Watches

RotoView For Smart Watches
Virtual Touchpads For Wearable and Portable Devices

Our latest development for smart watch interface utilizes side viewing cameras that monitor a virtual pad on the back of the hand. This new technology provides an easier and more accurate user interface to control smart watches and other wearable and portable devices with very small displays.

The Virtual Touchpad is Easier to Use

With this technology, a portion of the back of the hand is assigned as a virtual pad that maps the actual device's screen. The user controls and communicates with the smart watch by tapping the virtual pad area. The virtual pad typically provides a larger area than the device's screen, with a shape similar to the screen. Side-viewing cameras determine the touch points of the user's fingers on the virtual pad area.

Since the user controls the watch by tapping the virtual pad instead of tapping the actual screen, the finger does not obscure the small screen of the smart watch. As a result, selecting an icon is much easier when using the virtual pad, as shown in Fig. 1. Since the virtual pad area is significantly larger than the actual screen, this technology allows selection of icons that are too closely grouped on the screen display.

Back Hand Pad Icon Selection

Fig. 1: Icon selection by the virtual pad.

In the example illustrated in Fig. 1, ICON4 is selected when the user taps on the relative location of ICON4 on the virtual pad area.

Convenient Text Entry

The user can tap or drag one or more fingers on the virtual pad area, as if the fingers touch the actual watch screen. This virtual pad allows for a multitude of user controls and interface possibilities. Fig. 2 demonstrates how to enter text into the watch using the standard drag gesture on the virtual pad to draw the shape of the characters.

Back Hand Pad Text Entry

Fig. 2: Text entry by the virtual pad.

In this example, the user draws the letter "A" while entering the text, "you can start..." The watch's screen shows the previously entered characters while the user inserts the "a" for the word "start". Since the user drags on the virtual pad and not on the screen itself, the user can clearly see the previously entered characters, without the obstruction of the drawing finger that is likely to happen when the user draws directly on the screen.

Many other gestures, including drag, tap, double-tap, long press, pinch and others can be detected and implemented with this technology, providing a superior user experience when controlling and communicating with the smart watch.

Multiple Virtual Pads On Both Sides of the Smart Watch

This technology is suitable for other wearable and mobile devices, where an area adjacent to the device is used as the virtual pad. More than one virtual pads can be used, as demonstrated in Fig. 3, where two virtual pads are assigned on both sides of the watch. Each virtual pad can be used alone, and in some applications, special commands may be entered by tapping on both virtual pads at a preassigned order.

Multiple Virtual Pads

Fig. 3: Multiple virtual pads.

For more information on this patent pending technology, please review our related patent application US-2018-0188894-A1, published on July 05, 2018, tilted "Virtual Touchpads For Wearable and Portable Devices" by Dr. David Y. Feinstein.

RotoView IP portfolio

To add this new smart watch control technology to your wearable devices, please contact Scott LaRoche, 1-281-879-6226,, or use the following form.

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