Locative Lab

researching locative media

HP researchers patent foot activated user interface

Nevermind those fancy thought-based biometric systems and brain controlled computers,as a clever group of inventors have patented a foot-activated userinterface that can bring mousing abilities to those without hands /arms (or a suitable amount of dexterity). Three blokes working for HP‘sUK operation have developed a prototype in which humans can use theirfeet in order to mimic cursor movements more traditionally handled bythe keyboard’s right-hand man.A magnetic sensor is affixed to one foot, while a transmitter emitting”pulsed magnetic signals” is clipped onto the other, and as thepulsating foot wiggles about, the relative distance and position iscalculated and converted into cursor movements on screen. The designershave suggested that “twists” could be understood as “right / leftclicks,” while “sliding atop the ground” could be translated as”dragging and dropping.” Aside from adding newfound utility to disabledindividuals who’d like to get their frag on,the team has visions of creating the ultimate multitasker by “keepingthe hands free” for handling phone calls and TV dinners while operatinga “wearable computer” with their legs. While the folks at HP kick around the idea of releasing this on the market, we’ll be sharpening our foot-eye coordination skills in tense anticipation.



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Cityscape LocativeLab.org is Ronald Lenz's research website on locative & mobile media. This is mostly an archive of blogposts I find inspiring and interesting and an overview of my work. I'm a strategist, technologist and researcher in the field of Location-Based Mobile Services and work at Waag Society, a medialab in Amsterdam, The Netherlands where I head the Locative Media research program and at 7scenes, a platform for GPS games and tours as creative director. Picture 4 Find me at Twitter, LinkedIn or via ronald [at] waag [dot] org.

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