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Since Apple Inc. introduced touch screens to the iPhone in 2007, things have never been the same. The display screens that respond to the touch of a finger or stylus have become the de facto standard for any respectable personal device. However, if Jiake Liu has his way, this cool technology may soon be replaced by an even cooler one - your hands.
Gauntlet (Generally Accessible Universal Nomadic Tactile Low-Power Electronic Typist) is a smart glove that essentially turns you hand into a keyboard. Invented by a team of researchers led by Jiake Liu at the University of Alabama, the glove is fitted with wireless keyboard functionality. When the user types his/her message, a conductive wire transmits it to a small matchbox size control unit that sits on the back of the glove. This in turn uses a Blue Tooth to send the commands to any device ranging from a gaming machine to a computer and even a smartphone.
In order to make it simple to use the team assigned the easiest and most natural hand movements to the most commonly used letters. Alphabet letters that are not so frequently used as well as functions, were assigned slightly more complicated gestures. What's even cooler is that once the user memorizes where the alphabets are situated, they can remove the stickers and really appear like they are sending messages or playing video games by just making normal gestures with their gloved hand.
While the smart glove will definitely be a great addition to all our lives, it is expected to be extremely useful for people with disabilities.
Jiake says he loves science fiction movies and was inspired to create the glove after watching Tom Cruise don a similar device in the Minority Report. All the team needs now is approval of the patent for their amazing new keyboard and, a partner to help them bring it to a store near you!
Resources: Gizmag.com, dailymail.co.uk