This is an interactive belt-worn badge I created during my internship at Microsoft Research in Cambridge in cooperation with Steve Hodges, John Helmes, Nicolas Villar and Tim Paek. The idea is to enable looking up information in a very fast and undistracting way. Users can pull the badge to various locations in front of them to access different applications. This allows for example to check emails or take a look at the calendar to see when and where the next appointment is. Since the badge is worn at a belt, it is possible to interact with it using only one hand – by simply grabbing and pulling it while sitting, standing or on the go. In contrast, a smartphone needs to be picked up and unlocked before the appropriate application can be selected.
The prototype consists of two parts: A display part which has the size and the shape of a traditional ID badge and a sensor part which can be clipped to the belt. Both parts are connected by a retractable string and the sensor part measures how far and in what direction the display part is pulled out. Both components communicate with the smartphone of the user via Bluetooth.