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Google may be developing wearables that respond to skin gestures

Google's newly patented tech allows users to control wearables like smartwatches and earbuds using skin gestures.
By
March 7, 2022
Here's a close up on a man with the Google Pixel Buds A-Series using touch controls.
TL;DR
  • Google has patented skin gesture controls for its wearables.
  • The tech allows users to touch their skin in order to issue commands to earbuds and smartwatches.

Google has patented technology that will let users control its smartwatches and earbuds by simply touching their skin.

The patent titled “Skin interface for Wearables: Sensor fusion to improve signal quality” was spotted by folks over at LetsGoDigital. It details tech that users can use to operate wearable devices using skin gestures.

Patent documents show that users can swipe or tap the skin near the wearables in order to control them. The gesture creates a mechanical wave that is picked up by the sensors in the wearables. The “Sensor Fusion” tech then combines this movement data collected from various sensors into an input command for the wearable.

Users can swipe up and down vertically or tap with different intensities and fingers to issue skin commands for things like answering calls, adjusting the volume, media playback, and more.

google skin gestures
LetsGoDigital

In case of true wireless earbuds, skin gestures can be made by touching the front of the ear or tapping the temple. Similarly, on smartwatches, users can swipe on the wrist, forearm, or the back of their hand to perform tasks. The devices will use machine learning to distinguish between intentional gestures and natural movements of the users.

The tech definitely seems pretty promising. We recently saw something similar on Sony’s LinkBuds WFL-900. The earbuds can be controlled by tapping the front of the ear rather than the buds themselves.

We’re not sure if Google plans to implement this tech on its next set of Pixel Buds or the rumored Pixel Watch, but it sure would be cool to see it in action.