It’s called a Gauntlet Keyboard, a glove device that 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 (PCB) 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 Dond, 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 Lui, the principal innovator. “You, by tapping your thumb on each segment of your fingers, type to the screen basically. And you can do a swiping gesture that would erase it.”
Gauntlet is an acronym for Generally Accessible Universal Nomadic Tactile Low-power Electronic Typist. That’s a lengthy description of what essentially is a glove with a beehive of conductive threads running throughout the fingers and palm.
Liu said the inspiration came from his interest in science fiction movies and experience with touch-screen technologies.
Once he and his project partners came up with the idea, they did some scientific research on the most frequently used characters on a keyboard. Common keystrokes got the easiest finger-thumb alignments like the fingertips. Less common ones required more hand contortions to make the contacts.
“Doug (Kirby) did some research and found the most commonly used letters in the English alphabet,” said Dond. “We all sat around and asked a few people and tried to figure these easiest places to touch your finger with your thumb and we put the most commonly used letters there. We tried to make it as efficient and easy to use as possible.”
Until users memorize the new “key” positions, the characters are sewn into the finger and palm positions of the glove. Liu said the group has been in contact with a patent lawyer and a specialty glove designer about going commercial with the Gauntlet.
The students were assisted in their initial work by Huntsville electronics firm ADTRAN after entering it in the company’s senior design showcase. The company assisted largely with the micro soldering of the PCB parts.The young designers are excited about the possibilities for the Gauntlet.
Dr. Emil Jovanov, associate dean for Graduate Education and Research in the UAH College of Engineering, commended the students for their innovation. “It is a perfect example of how you take an original idea, find your niche and complete the whole idea.”
Jovanov said the project would be pitched to the Alabama Launch Pad, a competition to help fund and launch business plans.The young innovators are well on their way to success with their UAH education.
Ray Garner | Newswise Science News
Efficient time synchronization of sensor networks by means of time series analysis
24.01.2017 | Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt
Ultra-precise chip-scale sensor detects unprecedentedly small changes at the nanoscale
18.01.2017 | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.01.2017 | Life Sciences
24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine