If you’re willing to go around wearing a huge black glove all day then you might have found the perfect solution to the no keyboard aspect of mobile. The Gauntlet glove is essentially a keyboard directly on your hand, but it does not use a QWERTY keyboard, that you can use one handed. Not only can you type with your palm flat, you can also learn to type using just the thumb on the hand that is wearing the glove, leaving your other hand free to hold your phone, or even a drink.
How Does it Work?
The Gauntlet or Generally Accessible Universal Tactile Low-Power Electronic Typist was originally developed by a team of researches at the University of Alabama. Six researchers, including Jiake Liu worked out the design based on two factors. The most commonly used letters of the alphabet, and letter placement. Letters are placed on the glove according to their most often used status, so that someone can learn letter placement simply by using the glove. This allows wearers to ‘type’ as naturally as possible with their hand without learning any weird new convoluted hand movements.
Essentially it’s just a Bluetooth wireless keyboard that can connect and be used with any compatible device. The glove used conductive thread to carry signals to a built in PCB (printed circuit board) which is then transmitted via Bluetooth to another device. Because the PCB is only about the size of a matchbox , the entire glove has the ability to shrink in size in future editions. So, a fourth or fifth generation of the glove might be hard to distinguish from a standard fashion glove.
Most importantly, the glove is a full function keyboard. Symbols are available with more complicated gestures, and users can erase what they types by simply swiping their thumb across the glove.
One of the most obvious uses of the Gauntlet is that it would make communication a great deal easier for the disabled. However it would also be useful in a variety of other situations including military use, science, and even basic communication, especially if the glove were made lighter and more fashionable.
Plus, some are already suggesting that it would a small step to go from wearing a keyboard as a glove, and having it implanted into your hand. While this might seem a little extreme, technology is getting smaller all the time and implants are the logical next step once our gadgets get too small.
Currently Gauntlet is still in its beta phase and is not up for sale, but it will be soon. While many might not want to wear it, it’s definitely a great idea and most likely a lot more convenient than the standard keyboards we use today.
What do you think? Would you wear a keyboard on your hand? It’s certainly a cool idea, and for many, it would be a great deal more convenient. But, as with all wearable tech, it’s a battle of fashion vs. technology.