There's a revolutionary, new user interface method in 2015 and you already own the hardware. In fact it's in front of you right now.
Let me explain.
The launch of the Apple Watch has created a new population of first-time watch wearers. If you're under 35 and have carried a cellphone since high school, you've had a clock in your pocket, right?
Ironically, for all its supposed convenience, there are many scenarios when a watch is actually less useful than the phone it's supposed to be helping.
Think about it: You walk around every day using your phone with one hand. Operating the Apple Watch (or any watch with controls) requires two hands -- unless you have remarkably flexible wrists.
So, what do you do when your arms are loaded with groceries or pizza boxes or your 18-month old daughter?
Apparently you learn to 'nosetap'.
Sometimes it's just to wake up the watch, but resourceful watch-wearers claim to be swiping away messages and even changing songs with their snout.
It appears that owning a slender, pointy noses are an advantage in 2015. Perhaps in future cosmetic surgeons will be recommending noses with high sensitivity and fine touch control?
We design things, but the truth is we can never predict exactly where our users will take them. Which is cool, really.
Developing a Nose-based UI
On a more serious note, nosetap comfortably predates the smartwatch.
By pure accident she discovered that Apple's trackpad works perfectly well using her nose. Using a table tripod, an adapter and some velco, she rigged up a surprisingly elegant 'Nose-pad'. She's even able to use her mouth for some multi-touch gestures.
Though her initial efforts were slow and ungainly, she says it didn't take her long to develop speed and precision with Photoshop and Illustrator. This is as genuinely impressive as it is left-field.
It does make me curious though. I play guitar and the more I play, the more my fingers adapt and toughen on my fretting hand. Does your nose change as it becomes more articulate?
###But was the Apple Watch designed for noses?
It’s a good question and I think there is an argument that Apple had our noses in ‘front of mind’ from the day they announced it.
Certainly there’s no argument that if you’ve got your sights of one of their 18-carat gold luxury Apple Watch Editions, your nose is what you’ll be paying through.
(Ba-da Tish! Come on… I had to use that!)
Originally published in the SitePoint Design Newsletter.