Japanese corporation NEC announced that it has developed an augmented-reality device that can display a virtual keyboard on forearms using smart eyeglasses and a smartwatch. The ARmKeypad allows users to input information just like any keyboard, and it looks a lot like Iron Man's technology.
Compared with voice-operated devices, this pair has advantages over them, as it can be used even in noisy environments, according to NEC. Plus, users won't have to carry around a notepad or any other hardware such as a keyboard to write down notes or input data.
The ARmKeypad can considerably boost productivity for practically any worker, as it doesn't require them to hold on to a physical device, especially for industry or medical employees who usually need to use both of their hands while working.
"I wanted to make a keyboard of the body so I created this device for people who work in maintenance or factory jobs. They can just go hands-free," Shin Norieda, creator of the ARmKeypad and researcher at NEC, tells Motherboard in a phone interview.
The glasses let the user see the virtual keyboard and detect finger movements, whereas the watch controls the virtual keyboard and senses the timing of keystrokes. NEC says that the pair is equipped with highly responsive sensors for precise input, which the Japan-based corporation notes in its press release.
NEC tells the Wall Street Journal that it plans to improve the ARmKeypad's features and roll out a consumer-ready version commercially sometime in 2016. The developer, however, hasn't disclosed a price yet.
It seems that the technology we see on sci-fi TV shows is within the foreseeable future, and this augmented reality device takes a big step toward that.
Check out the footage of the ARmKeypad in motion below.