The Fingersound ring, developed by researchers at Georgia Tech features built-in microphones and gyroscopes that allow the wearer to discreetly give commands or input data to connected devices by tracking lines and characters on their fingers with their thumb.
Modern digital devices allow people to carry access to the largest single repository of human knowledge in their pockets, as well as being able to communicate across the globe without being tethered to one place. They can also be a frustration because current interface technology leaves much to be desired. Many people have had experience with having to hastily silence their phone that's rung at an embarrassing time, or needing to control devices buried deep in a bag or inner pocket.
"When a person grabs their phone during a meeting, even if trying to silence it, the gesture can infringe on the conversation or be distracting," says project leader, Thad Starner, a Georgia Tech School of Interactive Computing professor. "But if they can simply send the call to voicemail, perhaps by writing an 'x' on their hand below the table, there isn't an interruption."
The idea behind the method to this jewellery madness is to create an interface device that is not only unobtrusive to use, and won't draw attention like a portable keyboard or mouse. In addition, it needs to allow users to control a device, such as virtual reality systems, without having to look at it.
"Our system uses sound and movement to identify intended gestures, which improves the accuracy compared to a system just looking for movements," says Cheng Zhang, the Georgia Tech graduate student who created the technology. "For instance, to a gyroscope, random finger movements during walking may look very similar to the thumb gestures. But based on our investigation, the sounds caused by these daily activities are quite different from each other."
The video below shows the prototype Fingersound ring in action.