The technology of Apple Watch has a decade old connection with Intel where in 2002, Eric Paulos designed a similar watch Connexus in Intel Research Laboratory at Berkeley.
Human species has evolved into one with arguably the most complex system of communication, both verbal and non-verbal. We talk, we touch, and we see, we feel each other, we are expecting signs. It goes so deep that premature born human baby is most likely to die if left without at least a simple but frequent touch from another human being.
In 2002, Eric Paulos from Intel Research Laboratory at Berkeley initiated a complex social study on non-verbal cues of co-located people who have previously established personal connection.
These cues involve physical touch other than handshake or holding hands. Simple touch with fingertips or shoulder seems to be adequate signaling method between two people in some sort of closer relationship.
But they also include body signs that do not rely on physical contact due to co-location between two persons. Swift glance for instance is important non-verbal cue for people inside the perimeter of public spaces where one is within the sight of other. Just by visually noting other’s current status acts satisfying. It is not accompanied with any other further type of communication.
None of these important communication methods were represented in modern communication devices such as emails and other forms of text and visual messaging – they simply lack this important emotional component.
So Paulos developed a practical hand-wearing device, similar to ordinary wrist watch that was able to provide these cues through new type of non-verbal emotional communication. He designed Connexus, a device that is capable of sending emotions by using force sensing resistors on a surface of the device, ambient light in form of superbright LED’s and heart beat sensor as one type of “I’m OK” signal using flat vibration motors.
In addition, by exploiting Peltier Junction, device is able to transmit actuation in a sense of heating or cooling the skin when certain type of message is received.
For the message to be sent, user just has to touch, cover or move over the surface of the Connexus.
More than a decade later, Apple announced the launch of its Apple Watch.
Apple Watch presents a new generation of communication devices that exploit wide range of technological advances but most importantly it is based on Connexus and Paulos’ research. Apple Watch can send non-verbal emotional cues in form of heart beat, vibrations and visual stimuli.
Ability to communicate in this way on a distance bears utmost important between people who are bonded with each other on some specific way.
But it goes beyond just communication. It can also be observed as a unique gadget that takes care of the one who wears it. This is on account of intelligent feature incorporated within the device that monitors current dynamics and raises alarm if person is too static by inducing a gentle vibrating and visual signs. It is the feature that considers a well-being of the one who owns it and wears it.
And it’s all based on basic and essential non-verbal communication between people and a decade old human behavioral research. But at the end, Apple Watch is just an upgraded version of Paulos’ Connexus. And that upgrade relies on large number of separate innovation technologies merged into one.