Touchpad company, Exideas, is using touchpad technology to help build smaller input devices. This one has a lot of wearable tech potential being that, it's so small. I can imagine people using this on their sleeves, as a touchpad "watch" (sans timekeeping), or even on their pants. While I think I would prefer a Twiddler 2 for my dream wearable, this seems like a logical solution for hi-tech phones, mp3 players, and more.
"MessagEase Keyboard uses a system of taps and slides with fewer keys requiring a smaller area. The taps enter frequent letters while slides enter the rest of the characters. MessagEase keyboard is currently available for use with PDA and Tablet PC. A touchpad implementation of MessagEase can also function as a mouse input." [from geekzone]
Good news for future wearable computer input:
Fujitsu Monday announced the availability of ultra-thin, lightweight, flexible and rigid touch panels for mobile applications.
General delivery begins in early 2005. Pricing for a 2.5-inch Film-Film touch panel is about $5.00 in 100K-piece lots. A 3.8-inch Film-Film-Plastic touch panel is about $11.00 in 10K-piece lots.
New wearable keyboard idea forwarded to me from dragoon named kitty. This has got to be the most attractive input device I think I've ever seen, too bad it's a male hand model. Also there's no obvious way to buy kitty, which is a shame considering there's always the Twiddler 2 which works pretty well for a one handed keyboard and mouse.
One of the issues preventing the uptake of wearables and the creation of a gargoyle subculture is power: what good is a device that requires multiple expensive batteries just for a single day's use? Fuel cells promise an eventual solution, but reducing the cost and size will take years.
News of one potentional solution comes from yuichi's Kokoro blog in the shape of Smart Textile, a technology from Infineon Technologies that produces electricity from the temperature gradient between one's body temperature and air temperature.
The japanese article from ZDNet Japan describing Smart Textiles includes the picture to the right, which shows what is not going to be the future of wearable computing.
Efficient input devices for wearables are another issue. Another entry from Japan is this new one-handed keyboard and mouse based on cell phone design. Japanese youth are fairly adept with cellphone text entry, so this might actually meet a demand. Hopefully some sort of autocomplete will be provided. (Snarfed from Slashdot)