While smartwatches are certainly on the rise, some are a little weary about their input methods. Touching the small display can be frustrating, and using voice does not always yield the results that users need. Luckily, there's now another way to control these smartwatches.
It's called the Aria, and it's simply a small device that can be attached to the band of a smartwatch, and allows users to control their smartwatch through a series of finger gestures.
"Aria is a hands-free remote that recognizes your finger movements from the wrist. You wear it, calibrate it and it will work," says Deus Ex Technology, the company behind the Aria on the Aria website. "Aria takes advantage of a brand new set of sensors capable of detecting different finger tapping, flicking and other movements. You then decide which gesture will do what with our configuration app."
The device is compatible with Android Wear and the Pebble Time, and easily slots in to most watchbands available for the said devices. The Aria itself will be heading to Kickstarter in the next few weeks, with two versions of the device to be available. The cheaper, $69 option, is meant for the Pebble Time, and will connect to the watch itself, eliminating the need for a battery or for Bluetooth connectivity. The second option costs $169, and is a standalone device with its own battery and Bluetooth capabilities. According to Deus Ex founder Alfredo Belfiori, the real draw to the Aria will be the SDK, which will allow users to control their Android Wear device as well as a number of apps with the Aria.
Of course, many will be wondering if the Aria will ever control the Apple Watch. In classic Apple fashion, the Aria will not be able to control the Apple Watch itself; however, the SDK is compatible with iOS apps, so we may see the Aria be able to control third-party apps on the Apple Watch.
The issue of smartwatch control is one that is likely to be a little more prominent over the next few years. As mentioned, trying to use a touch display on a smartwatch can be a little tedious. It is likely that voice control will continue to improve as one of the primary methods of input for smartwatches; however, it will be interesting to see if gesture control like that offered by devices like the Aria will continue to be developed and if this type of functionality will end up being built in to smartwatches by manufacturers.