On the heels of iReviews publishing its Best Smartwatches of 2017 list, Dartmouth College researchers have unveiled a revolutionary watch face prototype called Cito. Capable of moving in five different directions, Cito rotates, hinges, translates, and orbits.
The Cito Smartwatch Concept
With designers and manufacturers focused on making input information more robust, the Dartmouth-led team focused on the “limitations of today’s fixed-face watches.” Scheduled to be presented at this year’s ACM CHI conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Denver, Cito is being touted as a more functional smartwatch.
“Users want smartwatches that fit their lifestyle and needs,” said Xing-Dong Yang, assistant professor of computer science at Dartmouth. “The Cito prototype is an exciting innovation that could give consumers even more great reasons to wear watches.”
Dartmouth’s Smartwatch Innovation
With everyone in the smartwatch industry concerned about user-friendly operating systems, intuitive interfaces, and remote connectivity, Dartmouth researchers keep thinking outside of the box. From the Wrist-Whirl that controls gestures with a flick of the wrist to the dual touchscreen Doppio, Dartmouth has always been at the forefront of smartwatch innovation.
Designed and engineered by Jun Gong, Lan Li, Daniel Vogel, and Yang, Cito is an attempt at delivering data to its user in a more practical, efficient manner. According to the EurekAlert, there are four different features that make Dartmouth’s Cito watch truly innovative:
1. The watch face automatically orbits around the wristband to allow viewing when the wrist is facing away from the user.
2. Cito alerts the wearer of a notification if the user is playing a game.
3. The smartwatch strategically hinges to allow a companion to view the watch face.
4. Cito’s watch face is capable of revealing itself even from underneath a short sleeve.
Addressing the growing need for functionality over more data, Yang said, “Consumers will question the need for smartwatches if the devices are just not convenient enough. Cito proves the true potential of smartwatches and shows that they can be functional and fun.”
Radical Smartwatch Vision
With ease-of-use, practicality, and convenience at the forefront of Dartmouth’s smartwatch design principles, the team plans to eventually integrate “an ultrasonic motor to reduce bulk and increase battery life.” It’s safe to say those leading smartwatch manufacturers, whether it’s Samsung or Apple, have put the Cito smartwatch concept on their radar.
“We recognize that our work investigates a radical idea, but our hope is that we also show how a methodical and principled approach can explore any such radical visions,” the research team explained in its paper submitted to CHI 2017.
Founded in 1769, Dartmouth is a member of the Ivy League and offers the world’s premier liberal arts education, combining its deep commitment to outstanding undergraduate and graduate teaching with distinguished research and scholarship in the arts and sciences and its three leading professional schools: the Geisel School of Medicine, Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business.