January 20, 2006

Wearable Barcode Scanner

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This device is a barcode scanner that has a small Class 2 laser embedded in a finger ring. The bigger attached unit is a bluetooth transmitter. Now I don't have a lot of need to scan things on a day to day basis (thank god), but if I did, this is what I'd want. Having said that, if I was the kind of person who scanned things day in and day out, I probably couldn't afford the 1,200USD pricetag either.

[ Link via engadget ]

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December 02, 2005

Snowboarder Glove iPod Controller

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This is a sweet looking iPod controller that is embedded in snowboarder gloves and works like a joystick. Looks like the company that partnered with O'Neil to make the wearable controller, fibretronic, is also offering their joystick knob for other products.

Dubbed the 'Fat Controller' by O'Neill, the joystick has been designed by Fibretronic to wirelessly operate an iPod player by connecting to an RF transmitter located in the cuff of the glove. The joystick is sewn into the glove on the back of the hand and the five functions (play, rewind, fast forward, volume up, volume down) can be toggled by moving the soft rubber stick. The signals from the joystick are then sent wirelessly from the transmitter in the glove to a receiver unit that plugs into the iPod player.

The joystick is suitable for incorporation into a broad range of textile or soft products and it will be seen in other ground-breaking garments and accessories next year. It offers a compact solution for controlling any type of electronic device compared to the more conventional flat style keypad systems. The joystick control system can be supplied in both 'wired' and wireless formats.

The glove will be on sale for this christmas.

[ Link via del ]

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November 01, 2005

Strange Wearable Keyboard

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This guy built a wearable computer with a two handed keyboard on a napsack. Odd.

[ Link via del ]

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September 22, 2005

WristPC and the iFrog Keyboards

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The WristPC is a cool mini-keyboard for wearable computing, but in a lot of ways I can't imagine it being very useful, unless you have tiny fingers or something. It would be stylin' if you're going for the cyborg look though, especially as they sell a backlit version for $349. The cheapest WristPC is $249, which isn't backlit, and in plastic. If you want an aluminum version, it's $479 and $579 for the backlit one. All models come in PS/2 and USB, and they sell an optional wrist strap, which I hope isn't necessary in order to actually wear the WristPC.

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Considering the tinyness of the keys and the price point, I'd probably go with the bluetooth or USB iFrog which is selling at TekGear for $175.

[ Link via del ]

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September 17, 2005

CyKey: New Chorded Keyboard

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New chorded keyboard called CyKey. It's wireless and can be used with a Palm or PC, but doesn't use Bluetooth, so I asume it's like those wireless mice. The dimensions are 125mm x 80mm x 6.5mm, pretty small. Not having used it though, I'm a bit waary about it's performance. I still have a lot of respect for the Twiddler, even though it makes you contort your fingers a bit.

Price: 60 - 90 pounds ($108 - $163 USD), depending on what package you get.

[ Link via del ]

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September 06, 2005

Twiddler Typing Tutor

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Thad E. Starner and his students just released a cool java app to acompany HandyKey's Twiddler 2, which is probably the best keyboard for people with wearables since it also acts as a mouse and only takes up one hand. The application teaches multi-character chords, supports both the default keymap and custom keymaps, measures speed in words per minute, and measures average error rate. According to their experiments, they say it can take a novice from 0 to 20 WPM in about two weeks with 20 minutes a day. People are also topping out at about 60 WPM.

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Folks- My students have completed their work on the Twiddler keyboard evaluations and have made a Twiddler tutor (Twidor) to get people up to speed quickly. This tutor really has a lot of thought put into it and its concepts have proven to be pretty successful (see the papers linked from the web site). Hmm...we should probably still shoot a quick video showing how to (and not to) hold the Twiddler. Hope people find the Twidor useful!

Thad

Seems that this is just the kind of thing to really get the wearable community getting larger adoption. HandyKey should send this application out with every Twiddler they sell, and try to improve upon it!

[ Link via the wear-hard mailing list ]

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August 25, 2005

How to build a septambic keyer

For the MAKE kids out there:

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Build your own septambic keyer (by Steve Mann)! Alternatively, there's always the Twiddler.

[ Link via del ]

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June 17, 2004

TouchPad Keyboard

7312187097675176.jpgTouchpad 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]

[Link via engadget]

Posted by nym at 11:25 AM | TrackBack

May 25, 2004

Plastic Flexable Touch Panels

film_large.jpgGood 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.

[Link via Gizmodo]

Posted by nym at 02:02 PM | TrackBack

September 20, 2003

Here kitty kitty kitty...

kitty.gifNew 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.

Posted by nym at 12:16 AM | TrackBack

June 13, 2003

Wearable Power, Input

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.

Man wearing a fullsize tower
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)

Posted by dragoon at 03:22 PM