Fujitsu tap-and-wave glove works where touchscreens don't

Combining NFC, gesture recognition, and a wireless link could give people access to computing operations in areas where keyboards and touch screens aren't practical.

This Fujitsu Laboratories smart-glove prototype lets people use NFC and gestures to interact with objects around them when a touch screen or keyboard isn't convenient.
This Fujitsu Laboratories smart-glove prototype lets people use NFC and gestures to interact with objects around them when a touch screen or keyboard isn't convenient. Fujitsu

Touch screens were just the start.

User interface experimentation is blossoming as new sensors liberate computing devices from keyboards and mice, and a new glove from Fujitsu Laboratories embodies the trend. The device has a near-field communications (NFC) reader and gyroscopic sensors for gesture-based interactions with a person's environment.

Fujitsu will show the wearable device at the Mobile World Congress show next week in Barcelona, with plans to sell it in 2015.

The idea is to let a person -- likely in some specific work situation -- tap an object with the NFC reader, then perform a gesture that triggers an action like playing recorded information about the object through the person's headphones. The prototype glove can detect with 98 percent accuracy when a person's hand has moved up, down, left, and right, or has rotated clockwise or counterclockwise.

That could be handy in places where a keyboard isn't practical.

"In some work settings, such as those that require gloves to be worn or environments in which hands get dirty, taking out and using a conventional smart device can be difficult. Another hurdle is that users need to stop what they are doing in order to use their smart device," Fujitsu said.

Fujitsu's technology can be used to recognize a variety of gestures.
Fujitsu's technology can be used to recognize a variety of gestures. Fujitsu
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About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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