What input device? Just use your arm

This one could be a game changer. [Chris Harrison] and a team of researchers are showing off a method of using your arm as an input device. An arm band worn by the user picks up acoustic signatures created by tapping on your arm with the other hand, or taping your fingers and thumb together on the same hand. They’re achieving accuracies in the 82-97% range but it gets even better. Take a look at the video after the break and see what they’ve done by adding a pico-projector to the arm band in order to use your arm or hand as a touch display.

We liked seeing the concept mice from October, but the future of input devices might already be attached at the elbow.

[Thanks Wilfite via BBC News]

Comments

  1. xorpunk says:

    It’s called differential analyses. There was research that could detect where on a fixed pool of water surface impact happened.

    You can use it anywhere to condition anything. Neural network research uses it a little.

  2. Not gonna lie, this is pretty cool. But it seems like it’s not good for people with anemia, looks like you have to hit your arm with a good amount of force. Or anyone who bruises easily for that matter. “what happened to you?” “violent game of tetris.”

  3. mustela says:

    I can see the military choosing this to determine bullet entry points to the body and immediately activating automatic tourniquets to stop bleeding … at least for limbs.

  4. monkeyslayer56 says:

    this is SWEET! but i don’t think it would be something that i would use…

  5. smoker_dave says:

    You would have no choice if you could only buy mobile phones that use this method of interface (maybe in 20 years time..) ?

  6. Gert says:

    Wauw, kinda late news with no extra’s.
    It’s like my 10 year old cousin sending me Technoviking.

  7. Alex says:

    Very cool, but useless.

  8. GeneralERA says:

    Aha! Now we just need tactile holograms to get our Mass Effect style omni-tools.

  9. McSquid says:

    @Gert.
    Techno-viking is timeless. At least he doesn’t link you to his myspace.

    This is cool, but i feel like it would only be useful while running (and even then the armband would probably bug the crap out of me)

  10. backSLIDER says:

    Not to pee in your cheerios mustela but tourniquets are a last resort. But the idea is cool.

    • King Spade says:

      Actually a tourniquet is actually the first reaction to any sign of blood coming from a limb you have approx. 9 hours before you lose total function of that limb. I recently returned from Afghanistan and let me be the first to tell you I would much rather lose a limb vs my life or have a friend with one arm vs no longer having that friend.

  11. Dosbomber says:

    Damn! I literally thought of something very much like this yesterday morning! Except my idea was a subcutaneous sensor on the left wrist, and it was going to trigger things like car door locks, kind of like an RFID chip but triggerable, instead of always ready to send its code. No keys needed, just tap twice and *click*, door’s open.

  12. James Hammer says:

    OMG! Sarah Palin was months ahead on this one. Now her speech notes won’t be affected by sweat…

  13. Dosbomber says:

    I can’t see how this would be useful during physical activities though, if it’s sensing a sort of seismic motion through the arm. Maybe it’s just me, but when running, I can’t help but think it would be like hitting all the buttons at the same time with each step. At rest, no problem, nothing else is bouncing, but while running? Everything is experiencing G-forces. Might be better off sensing your fingertip and how it’s interacting with the projected buttons. That’s not exactly “new” technology, though.

  14. Hirudinea says:

    I’ed assume that the sensor would have to be “taught” what each user “sounds” like before it could be used, easy enough though, but like Smoker_Dave said it would be great with a cell phone.

  15. @Dosbomber: They should be able to filter out shocks that aren’t of the right frequency/intensity for what they’re looking for.

  16. M4CGYV3R says:

    It doesn’t matter how old Technoviking is, he still rules you all.

    This is pretty cool but it seems like it requires more equpiment in the armband than just having a cell phone with a touchscreen does these days.

    On that note, I’m ready for the implantable computers with forearm touchscreens.

  17. Rocks25 says:

    Hmm… The pictures make it look a lot like SixthSense: http://www.pranavmistry.com/projects/sixthsense/
    except it uses sound instead of a webcam…
    Actualy, this is a lot like an idea i had a few months ago, using a sheet of plastic or cardboard (anything with texture) and using sound to locate the position of your finger on it.

  18. grovenstien says:

    Use the technology of sensing for controlling prosthetic limbs

  19. Dude says:

    “Just” use your arm!
    Yeah right, but don’t forget to mount a godawfullness the size of titanic on you upper arm first.

  20. michael says:

    does any body want to buy a slim ps2 black gots one controller,8mb memory card all chords. in pretty good shape i’ll give a ps1. ps1 gots all chords and controller. so does any on want to buy it??

  21. michael miller from davenport iowa says:

    hello!! some one anseer me im michael

  22. PocketBrain says:

    FULL CONTACT TETRIS!!!

  23. Benny M says:

    @michael miller from davenport iowa
    GO TO EBAY.

    MODS! MODS!!!

    @PocketBrain
    I was thinking full contact Pong. >:D

    @mustela
    That would be a pretty awesome thing, although backSLIDER says torniquets are a last resort. I’m not sure whether a single bullet would require a “last resort” level of action, but you are right in saying that the military will use this for reactionary systems.

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