A new Kickstarter campaign wants to put a virtual keyboard on your hands via a collection of wires that clip onto your fingers.
It sounds odd on paper, but in practice it looks like it could be quite useful. The controllers function like thumbless gloves, but look like nothing you've seen before. An adjustable strap wraps around your palm. Inside the main control unit that's held by this strap are accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetometers, which combine to turn your fingers' motions into output a computer can understand.
Attached to the main unit are four wires that end in clips that go on your fingers. These wires are where the magic happens, as Gest measures their movements with precision. It can function just like a keyboard, only you type in the air or on any surface. But there's more to Gest than typing. It's made with an open SDK so that users can use gestures for all sorts of things, from manipulating desktop objects the way you would with a mouse, to unique gestures that control various computer functions.
But what about that lack of a wire/clip for your thumb? Apotact Labs, the startup behind Gest, says that the device doesn't need a contact point to read your thumbs. Instead, it reads your palms and infers what your thumb is doing based on that. Apotact believes Gest's uses will extend best to smartphones and VR goggles, two devices in need of more intuitive, full-hand controllers.
The Kickstarter campaign is looking for $100,000 in funding, and hopes to ship its product by November 2016 to backers. Early bird backers are able to get one Gest (that's a single controller for one hand) for $99. Once the retail version is ready to go, it will sell for $200 for one, or $400 for both hands.
Gest's campaign will close around the end of November.