From Discover News:
A fingerless bike glove equipped with electrical sensors lets you write on thin air, according to new research.
The modified glove could not only allow for discreet, one-handed text messaging but also create an early warning system for neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s.
“Handwriting consists of memory, knowledge, cognition and dexterity, and all these processes are simultaneously at work,” said Michael Linderman, a neuroscientist and a co-author of the article published in the journal Public Library of Science One (PLoS).
“This process is very sensitive to the general state of the nervous system,” and could help to identify potential neurodegenerative diseases earlier than existing techniques.
The researchers started with a fingerless bike glove and 17 electrically sensitive patches.
Placing the patches over the major muscle groups in the hand and lower arm, the researchers recorded the time and strength of the impulse and input the data into a computer program.
Crunching the data from the muscles, a computer program linked specific series of muscle movements to individual letters, which were then displayed on a computer screen.
The more times the user traces the letter, the better the computer gets at identifying it. With five repetitions, the computer was accurate 63 percent of the time. After 35 repetitions, the computers accuracy hit 97 percent.