How will the screen turn on? Motion sensor?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by JerTheGeek, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. JerTheGeek macrumors 68000

    JerTheGeek

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    #1
    Hello all,
    Just curious about how the screen will turn on on the Apple watch. Will it be a gesture activated thing, like raising the wrist, or will it perhaps have an always on option? I am really more sold on the pebble right now due to its fully waterproof always on display, but I'm still curious about the apple watch. Anyone know how the screen will be turned on or activated?
     
  2. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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  3. Piggie macrumors 604

    Piggie

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    #3
    Tricky I would of thought to get motion sensing to know to turn the watch on.

    Unlike a phone, the watch is strapped to your wrist and you could be watching TV, walking, shopping - reaching up and down on different shelves to pick goods, running, cleaning, general housework, cooking - taking items from high up shelves.

    Any arm movement to stretching on tip to, to doing up your shoe laces, wiping your butt or scratching your nose.

    By just movement or acceleration I'd have no idea how the watch would know to turn on, it would be on and off constantly.

    Interesting problem, as it really just needs to know when you are looking directly at it irrespective of anything else.

    So it's not a tap on the screen then, for instance ?
     
  4. handsome pete macrumors 68000

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    #4

    That would defeat one of the primary reasons for having information on your wrist. Granted, it's a simple gesture, but being able to check time, notifications, etc. is a big feature of this kind of device.
     
  5. Piggie macrumors 604

    Piggie

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    #5
    I will be interested as to how one could program a device, or even as a human being able to explain when a wrist is moved in an almost infinite range of potential movements which means you wish to look at the watch, as opposed to any other movement of the wrist taking place when you carry out any task or other moment which is just you performing a task in your daily life.

    Us as humans use eye contact to know that someone is looking at us, as opposed to that person just moving their head around.

    A computing device, with a camera, could calculate that you are actually looking at a screen, but just by a movement?

    I would be very interested as to how it could know.

    Of course, if you were stationary, arms on a table in a meeting, you twist your wrist. moderately slowly, it could assume that was meant to be a turn me on signal. It could however be a, I need to scratch my nose movement.

    Very interested to know if / how this could work
     
  6. Andropov macrumors regular

    Andropov

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    #6
    Assuming the Apple Watch has a gyroscope, it could know in what position it usually is when you're using it, and only turn it if you move it to that position and not just moving your hand randomly. The iPhone does a similar thing to determine whether you're walking or in a car.
     
  7. Julien, Oct 28, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014

    Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #7
    Yes it does. It's almost certainly a combination of the accelerometer and gyroscope working together for this. here is what Apple says.

    EDIT: When I read gyroscope I thought I remembered it but now not a 100% sure. I still think it has it but it definitely will have an accelerometer.

    EDIT the EDIT: :eek: The Verge says it does so Apple probably announced gyroscope at the event and this is what I'm remembering.

     
  8. matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

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    #8
    This is what I'm wondering about. I know Apple said we can see the time by lifting the arm but how about when I'm lifting my arm to use a phone or call someone? Will the watch screen also lit up? Or it's smart enough to know it has nothing to do with a watch?
     
  9. JerTheGeek thread starter macrumors 68000

    JerTheGeek

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    #9
    Seems like it is gonna be tricky to get the screen to actually turn on when you want. It would be really annoying if the screen doesn't turn on every time you lift your wrist, or if it did turn on everytime you lifted your wrist. That's why I have decided to get the pebble because the screen is always on.
     
  10. Julien, Oct 28, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014

    Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #10
    If it doesn't wake up when you raise your arm for some reason or goes back to sleep you can press the Crown to 'force' it to wake up. You just have to use your other hand in this situation.

    EDIT: Here you go, watch this video at 1:05.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwv-3wZocK4
     
  11. matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

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    #11
  12. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #12
    Some smartwatches have a display that can remain on all the time... usually in a special low power mode... so that you can always see the watchface.

    Smartwatches that turn on with the wrist can be pretty annoying.

    Many people don't like wrist activation because the bright light turns on when they roll over in their sleep, while they're trying to use the watch as a sleep monitor and forget to disable the motion activation.

    Others find that it often mistakes the wrong motion and turns on too much, or worse, doesn't recognize the motion, especially when laying down. It's not unusual to see someone with a smartwatch shaking their wrist and/or raising it up/down to try to get it to turn on. (That's when they often just punt and use the button.)

    It also chews up battery when a watch turns on for no reason. For example, the Samsung Gear Fit gets about 2-3 days of usage normally, but can extend to almost 5 days if you turn off the wrist activation and just rely on the button instead.
     
  13. DeathChill macrumors 68000

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    #13
    Also, I recall seeing a review complaining about the fact that their smart watch (360, I believe) would constantly flick on and off while driving due to turning the steering wheel and it was very distracting while driving at night. Unless Apple has come up with something that works extremely well then I'm afraid it'll be more of the same.
     
  14. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #14
    You will likely be able to adjust the time going back to sleep just like on the iPhone or iPad.

    ----------

    Arn't these all passive matrix type displays with an on/off back light? Are there any examples of IPS or OLED that stay on?
     
  15. JerTheGeek thread starter macrumors 68000

    JerTheGeek

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    #15
    In the :apple:Watch video, Jony Ive said the Watch would turn on with a raise of the wrist. He said the watch would sense you were raising your wrist and then activate the display. I really hope they implement a low power mode for the second-gen one, cause for me an always on screen is a must for a watch.
     
  16. virginblue4 macrumors 68000

    virginblue4

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    #16
    Genuine question, if you aren't looking at the watch, why do you need the screen to be on all the time?

    You only need it to be on when you look at it, and it turns on automatically when you turn your wrist to look at it.
     
  17. Piggie macrumors 604

    Piggie

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    #17
    Indeed, I think we'd all agree with that as exactly right.
    The only time the watch ever needs to be on is when you direct your eyes towards the device to look at it.

    The only problem is, if you really think about it.
    Unless and device does eye tracking, and not many things do, certainly not this watch, it has no idea whatsoever that you are looking at it.

    It's easy for Mr Ive to say it turns on when your raise your wrist, and you could indeed demonstrate that working, sitting down, and lifting your wrist and indeed I'm sure it could be made to work given that type of movement.

    The point is, you are moving your hands/arms all the time, all day long, so will be interesting how well this works, or rather, does not work when you don't want it to.

    Eye tracking would be brilliant, but probably never happen in reality.

    Like me saying I'll only stick my tongue out at you when you are looking at me. the only way I know you are looking at me, is not by your body movement, your head movement, your body or head position, it's simply because I am looking at where your eyes are looking, that is the only way I know you are looking at me.

    Unless you said a magic word/phrase to me, then I would know. And Apple could do this.

    "WATCH ON"
    "WATCH OFF"

    :)
     
  18. JerTheGeek thread starter macrumors 68000

    JerTheGeek

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    #18
    Good point; but the watch isn't gonna be perfect with the accelerometer. If I want to see the time or a notification I don't want to have to always raise my wrist just to read the time or notifications. There could easily be an instance when I want to glance down at my wrist hanging by my side and read the time without actually moving my wrist. And if I do raise my wrist slightly and the screen doesn't turn on I don't want to shake my wrist around to get it to turn on, and pressing the crown is an annoyingly unnecessary gesture for reading the time, after all the point of wearing a watch is glancing at your wrist to easily read the time.
    But this is just my opinion and it doesn't mean I don't like the :apple:Watch. Cause I still want it, just after some of the first gen kinks get worked out.
     
  19. matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

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    #19
    That is not a natural behavior of people who's wearing watch. I used to wear watch for years and every time I want to know the time I lifted my wrist. Some people might do that sometimes but it's a fringe case, and it's not comfortable.
    Now, if the screen will turn on every time I lift my arm to do something even though it has nothing to do with the watch, that's alright. But if I lift up my wrist and the screen fails to turn on, that is a fail.
    We shall see.
     
  20. kdarling, Oct 29, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2014

    kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #20
    The Pebble uses an e-Ink display, yes. No power needed except when it's updated.

    2012_pebble.jpg

    The Metawatch has a reflective LCD display, which means it uses ambient light hitting a mirror to light up the display. That saves power.

    metawatch.jpg

    My 2011 WIMM Labs smartwatch has a bi-modal transflective LCD display... a low power black & white reflective mode that only updates once a minute when in standby mode (so you can always see the watchface during the day)... and a full color backlit mode when woken up to run apps, or to see the watchface at night.

    wimm_bw_color.png

    I have to say, I was really surprised that Apple came out with a wrist-activated, one-day battery watch. It's unlike them to come out with a fairly current/old tech device for their first iteration. I guess that's why they emphasized style instead.
     
  21. Julien, Oct 30, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014

    Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #21
    OLED is a much newer display technology that LCD. Also Apple did go for quality of picture display (style) over sheer power savings. All Smart Watch makes must make 'huge' compromises and choices. It is just not possible to have an always on full color display with such power constraints. OLED does have one big power saving feature over back light LCDs in having 'free' (and true) blacks.
     
  22. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #22
    Just an after though: Apple could offer or allow 3ed party Faces that used less power and were on all the time. This is where OLED can 'shine'. For instance you could have a smaller Face or digital time display in a primary color (green is most visible to the human eye) at a lower intensity that would use low power. It could then switch to a full on Face when you reads your arm.

    Probably not likely, at least with wOS 1 but could be easaly added if enough request or want it.
     
  23. matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

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    #23
    Apple seems to think daily charge is not a problem. Let's see how annoyingly it will be. :p
     
  24. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #24
    It's not so much as what Apple think but were Lith-ion battery tech is. We can't have it all and it's a compromise until there is some new type of power supply/battery technology.

    I can only speak for myself. I charge my iPhone and iPad every night so it will be beneficial to me to do the same with the aWatch. If it were 2 or 3 day battery life I would probably be wearing it during the 2ed day when it went dead. Better for me to have a daily pattern of charging until battery life could be extended to over 1 week of real life use (probably at least 5 or more years).
     
  25. mtmac macrumors regular

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    Nov 30, 2012
    #25
    I think it can be made reasonably well to come on when you want to use it. The harder part is eliminating false signals. Apple would rather have it come on a bunch of times when you don't really need it, rather than not come on when you do. It still will save a bunch of battery power, but I would bet it will turn on just as often when you don't need it, as when you do.

    I'm guessing the crown button may also have a learning feature. If several times the crown is pushed shortly after the accelerometer and gyro record a certain movement, it could learn to turn on after that certain movement without having to press the crown.

    I'll bet Apple is still working on this and partly why we haven't heard about battery life. The more they can eliminate false signals without eliminating correct signals the longer the battery will last. This likely is the hardest part of a refining os watch, and one that is both very complex, and new for Apple.
     

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