We haven’t covered smart, interactive gloves for a while but this doesn’t mean there are no new concepts and products surfacing on a regular basis. Judging on the latest releases, these gloves are getting smarter with each version.
The AcceleGlove has an accelerometer in each finger allowing it to track any and every move your hand is making in the three dimensional space. The glove is connected via a USB cord to a computer which contains the software doing the heavy lifting in interpreting the 3D movement to control games, robotic hands or your word processing if you wish.
AnthroTronix is shipping with the AcceleGlove a disk containing the open source SDK that allows anyone writing software to control virtually anything.
One glove including the SDK and USB cable goes for $499.-, if you want to have a pair of gloves you need to shell out $998.-
Another smart glove is the Peregrine glove recently unveiled during the E3 and announced to be release in late fall 2009 at a $129.- price point.
The Peregrine is cheaper as it can not navigate our three dimensional world but it can recognize around 30 gestures (touching a finger to thumb, or finger to palm, for example), is connected via USB port to a computer to control it like a mouse just with a lot more hot-keys.
For some applications like gaming or in professional areas where hand input is helpful or for therapeutical applications during recovery of injuries, interactive, smart gloves do have a great value by improving performance, productivity and enjoyment.
Using smart, interactive gloves as input devices to control a cellphone or MP3 player or as text input …. I seriously question such products.