As anyone who owns a smartwatch can tell you, one-handed operation isn’t exactly their forte. Beyond the flicking gesture found in a number of smartwatches, there’s not much you can do without a second hand and set of fingers.
A group of researchers have come up with a way to use electrical excitation to view internal impedance cross-sections of an arm. While this doesn’t have the resolution of an X-ray or CT, there’s still a large amount of information that can be gathered from using this method. Different structures in the body, like bone, will have different impedance than muscle or other tissues. Gesture recognition at this level would open up a whole world of possibilities without relying on any non-wearable hardware like ultrasound.
The wristband may not be the first capable of recognizing hand and wrist gestures, but it could be the most practical and it’s cheap, small, and has a power draw minimal enough to make integration directly into a smartwatch feasible and we could easily see it being the next thing in smart watch features.