Technology can be a strange thing at times. Almost every aspect of our lives have been augmented by technology, and more often than not this brings a whole raft of benefits and new possibilities to the table. Innovations are always appearing on the market, often from seemingly strange and unusual sources and inspirations, but the path of progress rarely runs in a straight line. Devices that we take for granted these days would have once seemed like science fiction, or even just plain ludicrous. The point here being that you never really know when an important innovation is going to appear.
The Clothes maketh the man
Ignoring this engendered misquote of Shakespeare, it is important to note that wearable gadgets are one of the latest boom markets in technology. Devices such as smartwatches and fitness trackers have flooded the market with a whole range of variations and other wearable technology being trialed all the time. One of the most interesting wearable innovative directions that technology is taking at present is that of exoskeletons and power assisted movement. Militaries around the globe as well as countless private enterprises are racing to make items that you can wear which will increase strength or improve your ability to carry out dangerous tasks. A great example of this comes in the shape of the K-Glove, which is partly funded by NASA. This glove has built in sensors, actuators and what the designers call “synthetic tendons” to allow the user to make the motions but the glove does almost all of the work. This means that the grip it provides is enhanced and can reduce the effort required by the user to a bare minimum.
There have been numerous efforts to incorporate many of the features found in smartphones into other devices, but a smart glove might seem particularly obtuse. There is no one single example of this, but there are plenty of small projects out there from enthusiasts who are trying to change the way we use out smart tech. However, until a replacement for solid screens becomes available, this concept is probably not going very far.
The weird and the wonderful
The one thing all of the items discussed here share in common, is that you won’t find them being stocked by a trusted gloves supplier. The main reason for this is that they are all merely proof of concept ideas and prototypes at present, but an American inventor has produced something that is fully functional, if arguably pointless. Steve Hoefer has invented the ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors Glove’ which does exactly what you think it does. The user puts on the glove and then uses that hand to play the classic game, Rock, Paper, Scissors and the glove will read the correct moment and play its own move via a small LCD screen. Mr Hoefer even claims that the glove will learn you playing tactics and begin to anticipate your moves to try and provide a more challenging game. It is currently unknown what the long term applications of this technology could be, but it does seem to suggest that loneliness is a strong source of inspiration.