Google Research

Hybrid Watch User Interfaces: Collaboration Between Electro-Mechanical Components and Analog Materials

UIST 2018 Adjunct Proceedings (ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology), pp. 200-202


We introduce programmable material and electro-mechanical control to enable a set of hybrid watch user interfaces that symbiotically leverage the joint strengths of electro-mechanical hands and a dynamic watch dial. This approach enables computation and connectivity with existing materials to preserve the inherent physical qualities and abilities of traditional analog watches.

We augment the watch's mechanical hands with micro-stepper motors for control, positioning and mechanical expressivity. We extend the traditional watch dial with programmable pigments for non-emissive dynamic patterns. Together, these components enable a unique set of interaction techniques and user interfaces beyond their individual capabilities.

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