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Smartphone 'air-writing' glove wins Google prize

The Local · 25 Feb 2013, 11:30

Published: 25 Feb 2013 11:30 GMT+01:00

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Professor Tanja Schulz and Christoph Amma from KIT developed a new type of input device that can sense handwriting based on a user's wrist movements. They hope their invention could soon make the cumbersome typing on the mini keyboards of smartphones obsolete.

"The air-writing glove lets you write in the air, like writing on an invisible tablet," said Amma. Acceleration and rotation sensors then translate these movements into script, picking up on the characteristic signals of each letter.

"The system currently has an error rate of eleven percent. It sinks down to three percent if we adapt the system to the individual writing style," he said.

With the money they've received from the "Google Faculty Research Award," the scientists want to fine tune the process and make the glove more comfortable to wear.

"For instance, we could integrate the device as an unobtrusive wristband," said Amma. The system could even be integrated into smartphones directly, turning devices into virtual pens.

Story continues below…

DPA/The Local/mb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:44 February 25, 2013 by wood artist
While this is probably a significant technological advance, it brings me a picture even worse than today. It's bad enough to see people walking around, apparently talking out loud to no one. Now, we'll be able to watch as they also flail around "typing" too. I'm not sure this is a great idea.

13:18 February 25, 2013 by ChrisRea
Well, at least in the beginning, I guess that most of people will "write" on tables, mimicking the old-fashioned handwriting. So it will be as bad as during the times when we saw others writing letters. The nice thing though is that will probably make the actual handwriting easier to read.

Good work, Professor Tanja Schulz and Christoph Amma!
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