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Aria adds precise gesture recognition to your smartwatch

A new accessory called Aria which could drastically change the way we interact with our smartphones and other devices is seeking backing on Kickstarter.

Aria is a gizmo developed by the awesomely-named Deus Ex Technology, which allows people to control their smartwatch and other devices simply by making subtle gestures with their hand.

The innovative device, which is packed full of motion sensors, clips onto the inside of your watch band – or actually forms the band itself – and recognises your hand gestures by analysing the movement of the tendons in your wrist.

Sounds simple, but the technology which analyses your tendons’ movements is apparently incredibly complex – and also very accurate, according to the device’s creators.

While Deus Ex notes in its Kickstarter pitch that other methods of gesture recognition exist, the company claims it chose tendon recognition for Aria because it allows the input to be picked up all the time, whether a person’s arm is sweaty, wet or even tattooed. So the sensors shouldn’t be fooled by ink like Apple’s cutting edge Watch tech.

In practice Aria’s system seems intuitive and the gestures are fully customisable. If you wanted to navigate a menu on your device, you might flick your fingers up or down, while selecting an option might involve you tapping fingers together. What’s the point, you ask? Well, a touch-free system of controlling your phone could be useful when driving, baking or performing any manner of tasks where tapping and swiping your screen isn’t recommended.

In practice, things aren’t often as cut and dried as they might seem during the testing phase though, as we saw all too well with the god-awful Ring. That heap obviously pleased its testers but actually performed (and looked) like something you’d get in a particularly disappointing kid’s party bag.

Obviously, Deus Ex Technology is a completely different company and it’s clearly devoted a lot of time and effort into developing a device that actually works. So for now, we’re staying quietly confident that Aria will be worth snapping onto your wrist.

The company is working on two different versions of the Aria; one for Android Wear devices, which clips on to your existing smartwatch strap, and another for Pebble, which comes as a complete strap. The Android-compatible version will communicate with the device via Bluetooth, while the Pebble version uses good old fashioned wired connectivity to work. Deus Ex Technology has also stated that it’ll provide an open source SDK, so other developers can make apps which play nice with Aria too.

Currently, the gadget’s creators are trying to raise $100,000 to help them get the device made and into the hands of punters. If you’re keen, you can mosey over to the Kickstarter page and get involved, though it doesn’t appear like Deus Ex will have any trouble at all reaching its relatively modest goal.


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