Yes.. Disney (together with Carnegie Mellon University).. But seriously, this is one of the coolest technologies I’ve ever seen. Disney’s smartwatch can know what you are holding in your hand, or what you are touching. The idea is to sense the small electromagnetic waves conducted from everyday objects through your arm up to the smartwatch. They call it ‘EM Sense’..
So besides being a pretty awesome party trick what will it be useful for?
For example, when a user starts brushing their teeth EM-Sense detects this and a timer starts on their watch, so they know how long to brush for. Standing on an electronic scale meanwhile causes data to be captured and transferred to the screen of the watch.
It can get even smarter though, as by detecting patterns of appliance touches it can guess what you’re doing. For example, touch a fridge, followed by a stove in the morning and it might assume you’re making breakfast and offer to put the news on.
In another example the wearer opens their office door, triggering work-related reminders. When they leave at the end of the day and touch the door again it then triggers reminders for things to do on the way home, like buying milk.
Another clever use for it is to bypass passwords. Touch your laptop while wearing the EM-Sense equipped watch and, because the laptop knows that a user is touching it and the watch knows who that user is, you could unlock it automatically.
Now lets just hope this technology makes it to the market soon, and of course that it works as well as the demo video suggests.