Author Topic: Bluetooth Input Ring  (Read 857 times)

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Offline Hundrakia

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  • Posts: 172
  • Location: Northwest Territories, Canada
Bluetooth Input Ring
« on: Fri, 25 July 2014, 02:05:56 »
I'm in the hardware programming phase right now (and consequently-- experiencing, writer's block?) of a little input device I schemed up recently.
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What I envisioned in starting this project was that people who are entering in to the blossoming world of wearables are very used to one handed operation of their devices, from ideally midriff area. Reaching to your face for Google Glass seems tacky as all hell, and attempting to swipe at a notification on your Android Wear to me seems to be less intuitive than it needs be, grabbing at your wrist with your opposite hand and all.
The basic idea is this: it's a little ring you'd wear on your left or right index (pointer) finger, with an input pad for swipe or tap gestures only. You could actuate the pad with your thumb, (my plan is with a capacitive touch sensor, and a 4/8 array of pads in a matrix) which is read into a MCU, and fired out via Bluetooth 4 LE as an HID report for touchpad.
I fathom I could make such a ring that would drastically increase the utility of these wearable devices for most people, and for some (people with limited/no function in one arm) use at all of these items.

The best part of it is that BLE4.0 is incredibly low power, and a device of this type could likely run off of a small battery for the life of the ring, (else I've schemed up a hypothetical plan for thermally harvested power :D) so you wouldn't need to charge it, maintain it, really do much of anything with it.

So far I've narrowed down all of the different hardware level things I'd need to make a working prototype of this beast, (getting them to the NWT is another story, but I'm only here for another half a month, after which this project will take off full scale) where I seem to be lacking right now is in motivation.

So, I want to know what you people think! Is this a waste of my time? Are you going to go out and make one, copyright it, and become a millionaire? (Please, include me in your memoirs), or am I on the right track here?

Offline plainbriny

  • Posts: 192
  • Location: Taiwan
Re: Bluetooth Input Ring
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 25 July 2014, 02:35:36 »
This concept is really cool. Though I am not sure about the practicality of typing with it.
The main issue is the the area of the touch pad would be too small to fit a matrix, and the thumb may be strained after long use. However, if acting just as a touch pad/mouse and combined with virtual keyboard, it might be a killer device especially for smart watch/google glasses, which lack adequate input interfaces.

I am very interested in such device, not as a keyboard but as a mouse.

My main concern is that using mouse force large movements of arms. I have added trackpoint to my ergodox, which reduced hand/wrist/arm movements significantly. However to access the trackpoint I still need to shift the position of my hand. If this device were eventually realized, there's no need to move my hand any more, or rather I would only need to move the thumb when using the pointing device. That would be a HUGE advantage.

Offline Hundrakia

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  • Posts: 172
  • Location: Northwest Territories, Canada
Re: Bluetooth Input Ring
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 25 July 2014, 02:42:46 »
Not for typing at all man. It would serve solely as touchpad. Envision if you will, the input method used on Google Glass, just transferred down to your ring.
Also, check out https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1761670738/ring-shortcut-everything which is more or less like what you were wanting.

Offline Hundrakia

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  • Posts: 172
  • Location: Northwest Territories, Canada
Re: Bluetooth Input Ring
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 19 January 2015, 22:33:48 »
Bit of a nekrobump, but seeing as smart watches are EVERYWHERE now--
Does the idea of being able to have at least primitive control of your smartwatch seem like a good idea?
You wouldn't have any fine control, like you would on a normal screen, but for say swiping away notifications, what have you, I think having such a ring would be complementary to the experience, in that you wouldn't have to use your other, possibly busy hand to act on most things.

Any thoughts, input, anything welcome!