To develop the WristWhirl prototype, researchers investigated the biomechanical ability of the wrist by tasking a small group of participants to conduct eight joystick-like gestures while standing and walking. Participants wore the watch on their left wrist and were asked to use their wrist to make four directional marks similar to flicking a touch screen, and four free-form shapes, such as a triangle.
They were asked to make these gestures with their hand-up in front of their body during which they could see the gesture being drawn on the watch’s screen, and with their hand-down alongside their body. They were able to make directional marks at an average rate of half a second and free-form shapes at an average rate of approximately 1.5 seconds. Visual feedback appeared to slow participants down, as they were slowest at performing the tasks when their hand was out in front of them and fastest when their hand was down alongside their body.
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