Research Spotlight: LumiWatch and SmartMat

Two cool research projects I wanted to mention on here before I forget and that I’ll just lump in here together:

The LumiWatch is a new projector smartwatch prototype from Carnegie Mellon University. Unsurprisingly Chris Harisson is involved, who’s been working on similar concepts (cf. Skin Buttons, SkinTrack, OmniTouch) for quite some time now. In some sense the LumiWatch seems to be bringing a lot of these earlier concepts together.

Then there’s Microsoft’s Project Zanzibar smart mat, a new hardware device enabling tangible interaction through a combination of capacitive sensing capabilities for touch interaction and NFC for object detection and recognition. I’m reminded of Microsoft’s tremendous output in the fields of earlier multitouch and tangible interaction research within its Surface research group, before they appropriated the Surface name for their lineup of consumer products.