October 16th, 2021—
When receiving a notification on your phone, it can be a tedious process to take the device out of a pocket, unlock the screen, and then read the message. In order to make viewing simple information much faster, University of Waterloo researchers developed a small pocketable display that can shine images and text through fabric. This means seeing the current time or directions can be done far more quickly since all the user has to do is look down.
The technology driving this system consists of an Arduino Pro Mini board, an HC-05 Bluetooth module for receiving data from a host phone, an 8×8 RGBW NeoPixel matrix, and a single 420mAh LiPo battery cell for power. All of these components were assembled into a single unit and placed within a 3D-printed enclosure that can easily fit into the user’s pocket.
After studying how LEDs interact with various types of fabrics by using an Arduino Mega, the team gathered 12 participants to see how effective their smart display, called the PocketView, was at showing important information. Once several tasks had been performed by the group, they consistently rated the LEDs to be a better viewing experience compared to looking at a phone.
To read more information about the PocketView and the plans the team has for it, you can view their paper here.
Images: Antony Albert Raj Irudayaraj, et al.