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Researchers Invent Glove That Lets Users Write in Mid-Air

It seems our robotic future is arriving faster than we expected, as a group of researchers have unveiled a hi-tech glove able to write messages in the air.

This could mean the end of the keyboard, as well as the pen.

It’s called the “airwriter,” and is able to work out messages people write by monitoring the position of the user’s hand.

They say it could be capable of entering text messages and writing emails.

“The airwriting glove is used to write letters into air, as if using an invisible board or pad,” doctoral student Christoph Amma said.

“The interaction is embedded seamlessly in everyday life.”

Researchers believe the technology could be woven into any type of fabric, and so could be worn every day by users.

A glove holds sensors which record hand movements, and a computer system captures these movements and translates them into text.

The sensor is able to discern between natural movements and movements a user makes when they are actually writing.

“All movements that are not similar to writing, such as cooking, doing laundry, waving to someone, are ignored,” Amma said. “The system runs in the background without interpreting every movement as computer input.”

Currently, the system can recognize complete sentences with capital letters and has a vocabulary of 8,000 words.

“The system has an error rate of 11 percent, but when it is adapted to the individual writing style of the user, the error rate drops to three percent.”

They recently received the “Google Faculty Research Award,” worth $81,000, in hopes that it could be used with Google’s Glass wearer.

“When such a system is combined with the possibility to input commands and texts by gestures, you do not even need a hand-held device,” Amma said. “This can be achieved with commercial components. An unobtrusive wrist band might be feasible, for example.”



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