NEC today announced the development of the new ARmKeypad Air, where “smart glasses” are used to turn the arm of a wearer into a virtual keyboard, allowing for contact-free operation.
In recent years, smart glasses have been introduced that enable users to perform operations at sites without using their hands. In November 2015, NEC launched a trial model of the ARmKeypad, which uses smart glasses together with a modified watch to turn the arm of a wearer into a virtual keyboard by recognising contact (vibration) operations.
The new ARmKeypad Air, however, enables contact-free operation through the movement of a wearer’s finger using Augmented Reality (AR) to create the image of a virtual keyboard on the forearm of a wearer. Unlike the existing ARmKeypad, which recognises contact (vibration) operations, this new technology enables contact-free operation, which is ideal for sites where operations must be performed under sterilised conditions, free of direct contact with objects and clothes, etc. Also, because there is no need for users to wear a watch, the ARmKeypad Air is ideal for professions where wearing devices on the arm are not advisable, such as those carrying out medical procedures.
Yukio Maruyama, Assistant General Manager, System Integration & Services Market Development Division, NEC Corporation said, “Moving forward; NEC will use the ARmKeypad and ARmKeypad Air to help improve workplace efficiency in sectors where hands-free operation is required, such as manufacturing, medicine, security, and distribution.”
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