Smartphone ‘air-writing’ glove wins Google prize

Computer scientists from Germany's Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) have won an $81,000 (€61,000) prize from tech giant Google for developing an "air-writing" glove that could simplify typing on mobile phones.

Smartphone 'air-writing' glove wins Google prize
Photo: Volker Steger

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.

DPA/The Local/mb

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