Text-entry on the move can be tricky, especially when big-screen phones are getting too cumbersome for single-handed use, and fondling your temple with Google Glass isn’t going to make it much easier. Into the fray steps Gauntlet, a DIY attempt to wrap a keyboard around a glove and fire off text to your mobile device via Bluetooth.
The 26-letter alphabet is spread across and in-between the fingers, and selected by tapping them with the thumb. It currently uses an Arduino Lilypad, the version of the trusty prototyper’s board designed to be stitched into wearable electronics, and will eventually be paired with a li-ion battery and a gyroscope for gesture-based controls.
It’s not the first we’ve seen of wearable keyboard alternatives, of course. Chorded keyboards have been around for several decades, trimming down the number of keys by introducing combination presses; although originally desk-bound, they were soon seized upon by mobile gadgeteers as ideal for on-the-move text entry. Long-time AR pioneer Steve Mann used chording keyboards in some of his wearables research, and an alternative approach was funded on Kickstarter last year.
Gauntlet is unlikely to reach the market, at least in its current form, which is being developed as part of a university design project. However, with an estimated price tag of around $99, there’s certainly the potential for it to be commercialized.