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Mix of interaction patterns

There are multiple input methods that you can use (and are often needed, partly due to the limitations of the display size just described) to establish a comprehensive interaction model on these devices. These include voice, touch, and physical keys.

These channels are all applicable ways to interact with these wearables. In fact, in most cases of full interactive displays — especially as the feature set and available apps expand (along with their respective use cases and contexts of use) — no one method can cover the entire interaction spectrum required. Finding a way to take advantage of the strengths of each method while establishing a clear structure around the interaction model throughout the system is a challenging task, as discussed in the section “Interaction Model.”

DISCUSSION: BEYOND THE STANDARD RECTANGULAR SCREENS

Having a full interactive screen doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be the standard rectangular screen shape to which we’re accustomed. Wearables open up new ground for innovation, with the opportunity to rethink both industrial design and interface design practices as we know them today. Two creative concepts for iOS wearable devices that spur the imagination and encourage exploring new design approaches were created by Todd Hamilton and Federico Ciccarese, which you can see in Figure 4-26 and Figure 4-27, respectively.

Although both of these concepts raise various questions around their usability, scalability, and usage patterns, their important value is in breaking out of existing paradigms and exploring new design approaches that can better meet this new wearables space.

iWatch concept by Todd Hamilton

Figure 4-26. iWatch concept by Todd Hamilton: envisioning how Apple’s smartwatch could be designed on a thin

wristband wearable

A spider-like design concept for a wearable iOS device that grips the hand, by Federico Ciccarese

Figure 4-27. A spider-like design concept for a wearable iOS device that grips the hand, by Federico Ciccarese

Along with the similarities between smartwatches and smartglasses, there are also a few important differences between the two display types, which impact their design considerations.

 
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