Glove 'keyboard' could revolutionise use of devices with one hand
24 October 2012
Students at The University of Alabama in Huntsville have developed a tool that could herald new ways of using electronic devices with just one hand.
It’s called Gauntlet Keyboard (Gauntlet being an acronym for Generally Accessible Universal Nomadic Tactile Low-power Electronic Typist). The glove device functions as a wireless keyboard; instead of tapping keys on a keyboard, the user simply touches their thumb to points on their fingers assigned a letter or other keyboard function.
Conductive thread carries the commands to a matchbox-sized printed circuit board affixed to the back of the glove.
The PCB transmits it via Bluetooth, whether it’s a computer, a mobile phone, music synthesizer, video game or military device.
Think of the Gauntlet as a touch screen that works by tapping your fingers to your thumb on a gloved hand.
Four senior engineering students at UAH made the glove their senior design project for a computer engineering class led by Dr B Earl Wells.
The students — Jiake Liu, Stephen Doud, Douglas Kirby and Chris Heath — are now seeking a patent to market the product. The project recently won a $20,000 prize from the Best Buy Innovator Fund among hundreds of entries.
“It’s basically a keyboard on your hand,” explained Liu, the principal innovator and a graduate of Grissom High School. “By tapping your thumb on each segment of your fingers, you type to the screen. And you can do a swiping gesture that would erase it.”