Acceleration Sensing Glove aka Virtual Keyboard

Acceleration Sensing Glove aka Virtual Keyboard


Have trouble tearing yourself away from the computer? Good news!

Scientists at Berkeley’s Sensor and Actuator Center (BSAC) have invented a way to make hands, things you can take everywhere, the only keyboard geeks will ever need.

Berkeley grad student, Seth Hollar, developed a set of prototype gloves that took the place of a keyboard. The gloves hold tiny devices on each finger that can “sense” location when they are still, and measure acceleration when they are moving.

“It works like a large ball in a small square room. And the walls can measure where the ball is,” said Hollar.

This double ability of the devices, called accelerometers, make them perfect for taking replacing a keyboard, said Hollar.

But the BSAC engineers envision a final product much more “gee-whiz” than its prototype: A set of 10 high-powered micro-appliances glued on each finger. Each will consist of an accelerometer, a battery, and an RF transmitter. (RF stands for Radio Frequency, and is what your cell phone uses to communicate).

The goal of BSAC is to put all three devices into a package no larger than one-millimeter-cubed, something they call “smart dust”.

No commercial company has yet expressed interest in developing the virtual keyboard, but what good is a monocle-sized computer screen unless its paired with a virtual keyboard?

Keyboards aside, these devices could be used to make virtual musical instruments and translate sign language.