Every gesture has a meaning. An intro to Smart Gloves

Ever wondered how the entertainment and video game development make the human actors bring the actions into a digital character models in 2D or 3D? The answer is MO-CAP or motion capture that is all about recording the movement of objects or people.

Now imagine a world with various sensor technologies being used to capture physical data, as simple as bending fingers, with a motion tracker attached to capture the global rotation data of the glove. These movements can be then interpreted by the software that accompanies the glove, so any movement can mean any number of things.

The big question is where are we heading to with this technology? And how is it useful to everyone?

Monitor Parkinson’s disease

Smart gloves help neurologists to process data and have it delivered to them in real-time, straight to their smart phone. This enables doctors to manage the treatment plan of every patient day-to-day by eliminating stressful clinical visits for the patients. Sensors woven into the fabric relay information about a patient’s situation to doctors and physical therapists, so that they can tailor rehabilitation therapy to each patient.

Translate sign language

Researchers have developed a glove that would translate text and sign language to facilitate conversation between speech and hearing impaired people. The prototype senses hand movements of the user and identifies with the 20 letters of the English alphabet. Words and phrases are transmitted by Bluetooth to a mobile device with a preloaded application that displays and reads the signs.

Control hand temperature

An innovative fitness glove with built in climate control is now available (it’s also touchscreen compatible). The insulation and exposure of the hand can be easily controlled by placing an air permeable mesh on the palm and opening and closing the fist. This proved useful for runners and other outdoor sport enthusiasts.

Physical feedback in virtual reality

Ever thought how cool would it be to touch and feel virtual objects? Thanks to smart gloves users can now feel sensations such as rainfall, heat and even weight of an object while interacting with virtual objects. So if a virtual apple is shown on the screen, you will be able to feel its shape or weight and even smash it! If you are wondering how it is possible? The glove has several sensors built in that provide haptic feedback. These give users ‘superpowers’ in the VR world like being able to grasp an object and feel what it’s shape, form and texture.

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