New wrist position for wearable technology
05 October 2017
Tech start-up WITgrip has revealed details of its patented solution expected to change the way technology is worn on the wrist, making it more comfortable.
The brainchild of Dr Raj Partheban, WITgrip (Wearable Interactive Technology grip) is patented as the method of wearing technology, such as smartwatches and smartphones, on the side of the wrist. Initially conceived as an idea for the aviation industry, the concept has developed into a solution to help make wearable technology more comfortable, with a multitude of applications and benefits.
“While learning to fly as a teen, I noticed that navigators wear their watch on the inside of their wrist so they can see it more easily while holding a clipboard,” explains Partheban, who subsequently trained and qualified as a medical doctor. “I realised that the side of the wrist would be a more effective, and natural, viewing position.”
“With this in mind, and smartphones and technology quickly evolving, it was clear that this issue reached beyond the cockpit – we were all wearing our wearables wrongly,” he says. “And so, WITgrip was born.”
Developed with professional product designers and intellectual property specialists, WITgrip provides the capability for prolonged interaction with a wearable device in a more comfortable and flexible way than ever before. Currently, devices are worn on the back of the wrist, making them suitable only for an occasional glance or use for short periods of time. However, the patented WITgrip design, which can be used with devices of any size from any manufacturer, makes wrist mounted wearable technology easier to interact with for longer periods of time.
For example, when used with a smartphone, the WITgrip allows the wearer to assume a neutral arm position and still see the screen. The design ensures that there is no strain on the arm, shoulder or neck, making it comfortable enough to watch a whole feature length film, or easily check and respond to emails. It also makes video calling more natural and comfortable.
The soft feel WITgrip is worn securely but without irritating the skin or tendons, while also providing easier viewing for those with limited mobility. The innovative design also prevents the device from slipping into the wrong position. This can be an issue even for wearable devices with ‘wrap-around’ screens, which the major mobile manufacturers are currently developing.
“With WITgrip, your smartphone becomes part of you,” says Partheban. “It is securely attached to your wrist so you won’t lose it, and actions like making contactless payments are far easier.”
By providing prolonged, comfortable wearability, WITgrip also paves the way for better control of smarthome devices. With a phone always carried securely on the wrist, lighting and heating, for instance, can be easily controlled at all times, from any location. The remote control for the TV or speakers is also never out of reach.
“Having a phone attached to your wrist also provides benefits in a medical emergency as if you’re injured and unable to get up, you can still call for help,” Partheban says, explaining that detailed medical records can also be kept readily accessible on the smartphone to assist healthcare professionals.
“When used with a blood pressure or pulse metre device, WITgrip’s neutral viewing position also gives a better, more relaxed stance. This results in more accurate biometric readings,” he continues.
There are also possibilities to reinvent the way videos and photos are taken. With the screen worn on the inner side or the wrist, and a camera placed in the strap on the opposite side, the view is improved, and images and video benefit from better stability. With WITgrip, there is less shaking when panning, and holding the camera above head height is easier and more secure.
As well as providing technology companies with a multitude of smartphone-based uses, the solution can also have applications in businesses such as warehouses, where pickers can wear comfortable wrist mounted screens to keep their hands free. WITgrip’s broad patent also covers conventional wristwatches designed to be worn on the side of the wrist. This stylish and practical solution will be of particular benefit to drivers and pilots, allowing a clear view of the watch while still in full control.
“When combined with the right products in the right way, WITgrip can offer huge benefits to users, and enormous opportunities for manufacturers,” says Partheban. “We’re now keen to work with partners to use WITgrip to develop the future of wearable technology.”
For more information, visit www.witgrip.org.