Input
Aria lets you gesture toward your smartphone, offers hands-free control

As advanced as the smartwatches on the market now are, their small screens and tiny buttons don’t necessarily make for the most engaging user experiences. Half the time, they end up adding layers of complexity rather than the opposite, creating opportunities for companies like Deus Ex Technology Ltd to cook up new ways to leverage the benefits these devices give us in a more useful way.

Their solution is their Bluetooth-enabled Aria wearable, a gesture control interface that lets both Android Wear and Pebble Time owners use their devices with only finger gestures. Whether it be a flick of the index finger or a tap of the ring finger, these gestures are fully customizable so that actions, like opening emails or taking calls, are simple to execute. Aria does all this by using sensors to remember which tendons flex with each respective finger movement, assigning commands to each when performed.

Smartwatches aren’t the only candidates for the Aria, either. Android smartphones and other Bluetooth compatible can work with it as well, extending this novel control scheme to other devices that aren’t named the Apple Watch.  A Pebble Time edition Aria smartstrap is $69 while an Android Wear gesture clip is $129, and both are expected to ship in June of 2016. Deus Ex Technology LTD is hoping for $100,000 in funding.

The best thing about gesture control is how useful in situations where looking at or tapping a screen can be annoying or hazardous. Having said that, the Aria isn’t overly intrusive, easy to understand, doesn’t weigh the wrist down, and is actually useful despite its novelty; its best implementation may come via a Pebble smart strap where it can be integrated into the band. Similar attempts at using gesture control for the greater good are the App Your Car and Flow.

Nicholas Echevarria currently calls Shanghai home but is a Brooklyn native at heart. He writes about lifestyle, tech, and design and, whenever he gets the chance, indulges his addiction to biking and Hearthstone. Check out some more of his work at https://clippings.me/nicholasechevarria.