The Navy seeks to commercialize “Haptic Communication Glove” technology. Advancements in sensors and software, technologies have been developed that enable more complex messages to be communicated through haptics which uses the sense of touch.
Haptics can help to overcome communication barriers for blind and deaf people, be used in dangerous, dark, or noisy environments, and can be used where the effective use of auditory or visual communication methods is not possible,
Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific) developed the glove where a person is able to send and receive messages simply by moving fingers. Each finger is fitted with a sensor to measure movement and in addition, has a vibration motor to create a sense of touch feedback.
Movements are translated into language and sent wirelessly from one glove to another glove in the form of vibrations that the receiving party feels. For example, if one user holds up the universal peace sign, the other user may feel the Braille writing for the work peace on their fingertips, plus a computer monitor also displays the word peace.
In addition to person to person communication, the glove can be used to interact with computers, the web, and even autonomous robotic vehicles. It is possible that entire books could be communicated electronically to the blind using the glove.
The development of the glove technology took two years and $900,000 in total research and development. One patent (12/325,046) entitled “Wireless Haptic Glove for Language and Information Transference” and another patent (12/323.986) entitled “Static Wireless Glove for Gesture Processing/Recognition and Information Coding/Input” have been filed.
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