Tag Archives: wearable devices

Technology Allows Writing in Air

Fujitsu has made what they claim to be a lightweight and compact wearable ring-type device offering handwriting functionality and capability of reading near-field communication tags. You can wear it on your index finger, and the ring has several sensors such as a gyroscope, an accelerometer and a magnetic sensor to help with text input, apart from wireless communication functionality and an NFC tag reader. The smart ring can identify the movement the user makes with his or her fingertips as they write in the air. To begin the air-writing process, the wearer has to press an operation button on the ring with the thumb. That makes the operation single-handed.

Fujitsu had already developed a glove-style of wearable device, last year. The current device, however, compresses the entire functionality into a ring-type instrument weighing less than 10-grams, suitable for wearing on a single finger. The tiny instrument has power-saving features and operates on a single button-cell battery.

The technology developed by Fujitsu successfully corrects letterform tracings. This feature improves the accuracy of character recognition, which the user traces in air with his finger. Its success rate is 95% and the capability includes Chinese characters and numbers. The user has only to tap a finger to get documentation and instructions for working on a device with the help of the built-n NFC tag reader.

The technology from the Fujitsu Laboratories is sophisticated enough to recognize automatically unwanted connections between the strokes of a letterform when the wearer is writing a longhand trace. It corrects the data accordingly, removing the unwanted connections and this improves the legibility and text-recognition rate tremendously.

With modern advances making smart devices more miniature, along with cloud environments and efficient communication technology, there is increasing interest in HMDs or Head Mounting Devices. These and other wearable devices are very useful for people engaged in maintenance and other tasks in buildings and factories. The operator can have both hands free because of the ICT or information and communication technology used in these wearable.

Therefore, operators are no longer required to hold devices in their hands to receive information in the field. Consequently, there are high expectations from the use of such wearable devices in fieldwork that allow operators to keep their hands free to use at all times.

According to Fujitsu, the smart ring-type wearable device is targeted for use in the working world rather than at homes. At present, the company is carrying out real-world tests on the device and they have a goal of practical implementation in 2015.

Not that Fujitsu is alone in developing such finger-sized wearable technology. Others are also present in this field. For example, Logbar Inc., operating from San Francisco and Tokyo, started a Kickstarter campaign in 2013 and was able to raise close to $900,000. They have developed their Ring, which is a wearable input device capable of enabling users to text and control home appliances. Additionally, it can help the wearer complete financial transactions as well. Unlike the Fujitsu device, which is suitable for workplaces, the Ring of Logbar is meant for consumer use at home – it is not yet available for purchase, though.