Turn the back of your hand into a trackpad with this wrist sensor

by Mark R

What you are seeing here is a type of interface that could easily be the future. Designed by Kei Nakatsuma, a PhD student at the University of Tokyo, it allows the user to use the back of their hand as a mouse pad and a finger as a mouse.

It uses infrared detection to figure out where the user’s finger is, and special piezoelectric sensors to detect what a “tap” or “click” would be. Just think of the back of your hand as a Wacom Pad and your finger is the pen.

There is a video after the jump so you can understand what it can do. You have to ask yourself whether you want it. It is under development, and it can’t do pinch or rotate gestures as it is. Also, the apparatus is wired and quite big for an average wrist.

Do we want to have an interface like this? Probably not for a smartphone or a tablet PC, but for a wrist watch, you might have something. After all, our smartphones probably need to get smaller, and if they were located conveniently at our wrist instead of in our pockets, then we would be able to answer calls better.

I think we used to dream of an era where everyone had a two-way wrist communicator like Dick Tracy, but the age of cellular phones makes that practically obsolete. An interface like this could bring that back.


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