Home Gadgets Tetris played on new smartwatch prototype

Tetris played on new smartwatch prototype


Smartwatches are some really useful tools that have been helping people keep in touch and made their tasks easier at jobs. They let you quickly respond to texts, reject calls you don’t want and all this without even pulling out the phone. However, you still need your both hands in order to use it, despite being marketed as easier to use than the phones.

However, Jun Gong, together with Xing Dong Yang, from Dartmouth, have designed WristWhirl, with some help from Pourang Irani, student at the University of Manitoba. After they analyzed the already existing smartwatches, they reached the conclusion that they should be easier to use. As such, the three students designed a different version: they included sensors into the wrist strap and lets you simply use your wrist in order to navigate with the device.

Moreover, they also included 12 proximity sensors running on infrared, plus a vibration sensor, and they glued it all to a simple plastic wrist strap. They added a 2-inch display that ran on an OS they themselves had created. The results of their experiments were really cool.

Though it may not seem much, this improvised device lets you rely on 12 gestures that open/close messenger apps, play games like Tetris, Fruit Ninja or scroll through the music, everything by just flicking your wrist.

According to the description they wrote about the watch, the cheap prototype they designed works 85% of the time with their human subjects. It is indeed little, if you consider a big experiment, but truth be told, these are some amazing results for their first draft. If they would receive some financing, they might even take the project even further, and maybe in a couple of years we might be able to play Tetrist simply by flicking our wrists in one way or another.


  1. I think we have a new law:

    The Orland Law of Computer Programming: if it is programmable, someone will invent a version of Tetris for it. Corollary involve Pong, Snake, etc.

    Anyone a wiki editor?

  2. I love it when mobile gaming technology…advances? backtracks? Takes a detour? Does something?

  3. I’ll admit that I had a Tetris watch in 5th and 6th grade, and it was awesome. It had those nice rubbery 4 face buttons that were nice and responsive. It also (poorly) played tetris while it was on standby, which made for something to stare at while I was sitting bored in the 5th grade.

  4. This concept sucks for me. It feels very awkward. Sorry, but I’ll stick to my Velleman Pong mini kit.

  5. The first rule of Tetris clones is that you do NOT talk about Tetris clones if you don’t want to get the project shut down

  6. Awesome.

    Now I have new wishes for my Pebble:

    make the paired phone a controller
    make the Pebble a second screen for games

  7. Maybe someone can write Tetris in a spreadsheet for my CFX-400 watch, for true retro style.

  8. I had a Tetris watch and some other Nintendo watch that someone gave me as a birthday gift back in my teens. I can see we’ve come a long way since then.

    I can’t wait until we’ve got video capable smartwatches. I can just picture all the people on the subway hunched over staring intently at their wrists oblivious to everyone around them.

  9. Maybe they’re on to something. But, seeing as I can barely stand baby-sitting my smartphone, I’m pretty sure I’m not the target demographic for this.

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