And no, before you start thinking that this is for the incurably lazy, these Osaka-based researchers actually developed this hands-free, breath controlled mouse interface for the PC for a more noble purpose than just freeing your hands for chips – they developed it to allow users who are extremely disabled to still be able to use a computer.
Researchers from Kinki University (we can hear you snicker at that because most English speakers will) have a long history of technological innovation, and this hands-free PC interface device might be another one. On October 28, researchers from Kinki University’s Biology-Oriented Science and Technology Department’s Human Ergonomic Engineering Robotics Research Lab presented their breath-operated mouse to the world. The device is practically a tube that can be activated by the user’s mouth. Sensors within the tube measure the strength and duration of the user’s breaths, which are then converted into input commands. By combining strong and soft inhalations and exhalations, the user can move the cursor up, down, left, or right. Quickly and forcefully blowing or sucking air will produce right and left clicks, respectively.
One could say that it may look a little bit juvenile, if you are looking at it from a perspective where you would want your hands to be freed to do other things and let your mouth control the mouse. The invention does resolve the problem of food items covering your mouse because you won’t have to hold it with your Cheetos-covered hands anymore, but we ask you to think a bit more maturely. This device could be a boon to those who have severely damaged appendages or those born with appendage disabilities, allowing them to use computers.
Comments Off on JDP Startup Corner: Pros & Cons of Working with a Partner in Japan