Many companies are now incorporating their fitness trackers and smartwatches with great screens that allow for easy data viewing and better reading of notifications. However, questions have been raised as to whether this is the best way to use wearables. Today, you will come across numerous fitness trackers without screens; instead, they use haptics and LED lights for various tracking cues and notifications. However, in most cases they are not the easiest to use because it might take you some time to determine what the lights and buzzing are for.
Down with Screens
According to Moment’s CEO and Co-founder, Shantanu Bala, the device will no longer have a screen instead, it will be equipped with quality haptics. Bala’s past work played a key role in his decision to go screenless. While still in college, he started his research on haptics and he was able to create a number of projects including turning videos into touch, which could be used by blind people as well as making a glove, which was in a position to draw a variety of shapes on someone’s hand among other researches.
Once he had graduated, all he wanted was to dig deeper into the haptics world. He wanted to turn his experiments into products that people could interact with and use. This is when he decided to partner with Ajay Karpur and Jake Rockland, who were his fellow students back at the university and started developing Moment.
How Moment Works?
To begin with, it is wise to bear in mind that Moment isn’t your typical smartwatch. Although it works in a similar way and contains a gyroscope, magnetometer and an accelerator, it doesn’t have a screen. Instead of users looking at their wrists in order to view texts or missed calls, they receive notifications via tactile shapes. These are directly drawn on the users’ skin. A number of improved motors provide users with the haptic feedback and specific notifications are drawn from each of the wearable’s corners.
According to Bala, since the wearable makes use of four contact points, it is possible to explore different shapes between these planes. Its design is all about how users view the idea of shapes drawing. Looking at the device’s bottom, you will be able to see the sensation produced by the four corners. They provide a huge room for shapes drawing.
Navigation has also been given a lot of emphasis on this wearable and although it lacks GPS, it is in a position to draw data from the user’s phone to provide directions. Users are able to feel the sensations because the turns are drawn on their wrists and this lets them know exactly where to go. According to Bala, there are minimal distractions when the user is driving.
While navigation and notifications remain to be Moment’s key features, there are additional features for users such as metronome-esque, which is perfect for musicians. Rather than following metronomes, users are capable of feeling the beats, which according to Bala is much better because they can sense it instead of just hearing it.
Moment’s next move
Users are already making preorders and the wearable is receiving a lot of popularity. Its battery life is excellent and it can last up-to 7 days. Charging is through a microUSB and is available in a scratch resistant module that allows for pairing with watch straps of approximately 22mm. although it is not completely waterproof, it is resistant to splash and according to Bala, they have plans to improve it so that it becomes waterproof.
It also has LED lights, which appear as status indicators when the battery is low on charge. This wearable sounds like a great device that could bring to an end the poor haptics users come across on most fitness trackers and smartwatches.
About the Sensors
Since they started building computers, the LCD screens have been getting smaller and smaller. For this reason, this time round they have decided to come up with a device that is in a position to interact with touch. According to Bala, this is the part that requires reimagining in many areas as possible in order figure out new ways of communicating to people in ways they have never experienced before from their smartphones and computers.
Read more: The Future for Haptics in Wearable Tech
Although this device is not a smartwatch, there is a great possibility that it will be a fitness monitor in the near future. According to Bala, its sensors allows it to do so many other things and more features will be available soon.