The Aria Lets You Control Your Smart Watch Without Touching It

After nearly a month of time with the Apple Watch, there’s been a few moments that drew attention to the downside to having a computer strapped to one’s wrist. Brushing one’s teeth, eating, and even holding your significant other’s hand on a walk all preclude accessing your wrist with your other hand, preventing you from responding to notifications or using apps.

The Aria is an add-on band that solves this occasional frustration by measuring movement in the wrist to control smartwatches with finger gestures. Compatible with Android Wear and the Pebble Time, their module slots in to an existing band and lets you move through a watch’s interface without tapping the screen or using controls on the side of the watch face.

Aria wearable

In the next few weeks, the team behind Aria is putting up two versions of its band on Kickstarter. The cheaper unit will be purpose-built for the Pebble Time. For $69, it will connect directly to the watch, cutting out the need for an independent battery or constant Bluetooth communication when in use.

The other option will be aimed at developers, coming in at a more premium $169 price point. It’ll be a standalone unit with its own battery, and will slot on to any watch band. Deus Ex Technology (the startup behind Aria) founder Alfredo Belfiori says the draw for this model will be the SDK, which will let owners use the module with most Android Wear watches as well as integrate gesture controls into apps.

While it’s unlikely that Aria will directly control the Apple Watch any time soon, the SDK is also compatible with iOS applications, so you could wear the band on your Apple Watch and use gestures to do things like change palettes in a drawing app on your iPhone or take a photo with a connected GoPro.