Let Your Fingers Do the Talking: Typing with the Keyglove

By Wesley Fenlon

You may look silly trying to type by pressing your fingers together at odd angles, but that's okay. It's for science.

Touchscreens have come a long way in just a few years, evolving into the responsive multi-touch capacitive displays we know and love. But how long will it be until we have Minority Report-style gestures to interface with technology? A prototype touch device called the Keyglove could be making major strides in that direction--it’s an Arduino-powered glove embedded with 34 touch sensors and an accelerometer that emulate keyboard and mouse controls. Press two fingers together, and bam--you’re typing.

 Name that movie!

Keyglove’s sensors are placed in positions that work with “55 ergonomically easy possibilities” using only one-to-one combinations. For instance, making the A-Y gesture (index finger and thumb) is the easiest, most natural combination, and thus should be programmed to type a common letter like E (the letters on the glove are simply sensor labels, not letter indicators). When the touch sensors embedded at each location come into contact with one another, they trigger a specific key. And since it’s all programmable, we’ll be able to design our own hand keyboard action.

It’s hard to see this taking over for physical keyboards or even touchscreen keypads, but we can’t wait to have our minds blown by the Keyglove’s creator typing faster than we dreamed possible. And once it really works, the possibilities for uses beyond the keyboard are tantalizing. Since the glove is thin and lightweight, we could easily wear it all day, at home and in the car, and directly interface with a variety of computer systems. What do you think--could you program with one hand and drink your morning coffee with the other? 
With a Keyglove and some compatible music software, we could potentially turn air guitar into real guitar. Just let that sink in for a bit.