If you're not sure why you'd want a smartwatch, Disney may have just come up with a really compelling reason to get one. Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University have developed a smartwatch that can detect what you're doing.
Imagine if you unlock your office door in the morning, and suddenly your smartwatch starts rattling off the email messages you got overnight. Or, perhaps you kids pick up their toothbrushes and their smartwatches start counting down the seconds they're supposed to brush.
This touch-recognition technology from Disney, Carnegie Mellon and other researchers has countless possibilities. What if you can't see well, for instance, and you're about to pick up a sharp or hot object? What if you need to walk around your house when all the lights go out? Or perhaps you'd want it to stop relaying messages when it senses that you're driving a car.
Their touch-recognition software is a modified, low-cost, wearable radio called the EM-Sense. It works in real time by detecting the electromagnetic noise that electrical and electro-mechanical devices make. Your body picks up these EM signals, and that signal is detected by the EM-Sense.
The EM-Sense can detect dozens of objects. For example, it can tell when you're opening a door or working on your computer.
The EM-Sense isn't in stores, and may never be. It was developed to prove that a low-cost system can be mass produced. Who knows, maybe it'll show up in the next Apple Watch.