Technavio’s Tech Tuesday: The Moment Wearable Device is a Breakthrough in Touch-Based Communication

Interactive Flat Panel Display

Taking wearable technology to an entirely new level, Arizona-based company Somatic Labs has created a one of a kind device that uses touch for all communication purposes. Known as Moment, this wearable device is designed to be worn around the wrist and vibrates in different patterns to convey information without causing any sort of distraction. An improvement upon current wearable devices, which communicate through sounds and screens, Moment makes use of haptic feedback to draw shapes on the wearer’s skin.

How does the device actually work and how is it beneficial?

In spite of the fact that it is worn around the wrist, the creators of Moment specifically refuse to place the device in the same category as a smart watch. However, just like a smart watch, Moment has accelerometer, magnetometer, and gyroscope sensors – the only thing that sets it apart is its lack of a screen. A device without a screen might seem crazy, but Moment is powered by a series of advanced motors that provide notifications through shapes that are drawn directly onto the skin.

The creators of Moment believe that large amounts of information can be conveyed through touch, rather than through sounds or pictures. It is this belief that has driven the creation of such a revolutionary device. For example: the “silent GPS navigation” feature draws an arrow on your skin, indicating an upcoming turn. Likewise, when you walk, cycle, or drive around, the motors in Moment will draw “silent vibrotactile shapes” on your wrist, telling you which direction to take.

Another feature known as “invisible caller ID” assigns each person in your address book a unique rhythm. This way, you can easily recognize who is calling on your phone based on the specific touch that Moment creates. The device also has a metronome feature that taps out a beat as you play along, creating different shapes on the wrist. Thus Moment can help you learn how to play a musical instrument.

Most of all, Moment – a device that does not have a traditional watch face or even a screen — can tell time. It does so by creating vibrations that move around the wrist and give the wearer a sense of time passing.

Focusing on the psychology of touch, Moment employs the use of four linear resonant actuators in order to produce sensations that are far more advanced than ordinary vibrations. The tactile illusions it creates convey precisely-timed waveforms that can be clearly felt as they move across the skin. With a durable design and silent electronics, each component used in Moment delivers the best haptic feedback possible.

Slated to be shipped in March 2017, Moment is a device that improves the wearer’s sense of direction, time, and intuitive understanding of events. Regarded as one of the most innovative products for individuals with visual and hearing disabilities; Moment has, quite beautifully, turned data into intuition and is a major breakthrough in the sphere of touch-based communication.

To learn more about the latest developments in the industry, view our human-machine interface reports