Ring-Type Wearable Device Enables Users to Write in the Air with Finger

The evolution of wearables from widespread smart devices

The use of smart devices, such as smartphones and tablets, has spread rapidly throughout our daily lives. And today we see the next-generation of devices further evolve through the proliferation of wearable technology in the market.

Wearables are various types of devices that can be worn on the user and are currently being implemented for practical use in business and society. Recently, these types of wearables have been attracting attention including those embedded in clothing, bracelets or watches, as well as head mounted displays worn like goggles or glasses. According to a German research company, the market for wearable devices is expected to rapidly expand to 1.2 trillion yen in 2018, 6.5 times the current market.

However, main functions of conventional wearables have been, for example, to display information when worn like glasses or collect and send data to an external server when worn on the users arm. Users often must use a pen tablet or other input device to select necessary information from a display or input text, numbers or signs.

Ring-type wearable accurately identifies finger movements, recognizing letters

Fujitsu has developed a revolutionary ring-type wearable device that allows users to input characters and numbers, or select displayed information, by simply moving a finger to write characters in the air.

This wearable device compresses the ability a variety of input operations into a finger mounted device weighing less than 10 grams. This device features advanced recognition technology that identifies user finger movements through a built-in motion sensor. The device recognizes finger written characters by following finger movements. For numeric entry, recognition accuracy has reached approximately 95%.

Technology corrects tracking data to improve the recognition rate when entering characters

This wearable device takes an approach that facilitates fluid single stroke motions to input characters written in the air. It suppresses finger shakes, tracing characters written in one stroke so operators can write characters in the air even with some body movement.

However, recognition accuracy is usually poorer for single-stroke characters compared to pen or touchscreen handwriting. Furthermore, single-stroke characters can be difficult to read as characters are connected. For this, Fujitsu has developed technology to automatically recognize unwanted connections between characters written with single strokes, correcting tracking data accordingly. This correction improves legibility and text recognition rates.

In the future, Fujitsu will examine opportunities to apply this technology to the operability of equipment and vehicle maintenance or inspection. Specifically in areas where operators need to input text, numbers, or confirm records with one hand, while operating an inspection machine or tool with the other. Fujitsu is aiming to implement this in the field during fiscal 2015.

Fujitsu will continue to support the realization of a society that promotes human-centric and creative innovations in the future.