Wearable computers may be a reality in today's army, but use is restricted to safe environs like a bunker or an armoured vehicle—out in the open, soldiers' priority is keeping hold of their guns. The RallyPoint Handwear Computer Input Device is unique in that it is designed specifically to be used even while the soldier is gripping a gun or a steering wheel. It's full of sensors—maybe too many:
• Four fingertip pushbuttons for common functions like push-to-talk
• Index fingertip sensor for map or mouse mode selection
• Lower index finger for switching radio channels
• Pinky fingertip for map zoom or, in mouse mode, mouse-click
• Middle fingertip is "anywhere mouse" trackpad that is engaged when press against a hard surface like a gun or a wall
• Accelerometers in wrist track Wii-like gestures for sending messages, etc.
The glove has been in development for a few years, but has just been taken up by the US Army for testing at the Natick Soldier Systems Centre. It's insanely cool, and something with clear real-world applications—and not just for you, Zoltan. But still, I keep wondering exactly how smart it is to make the tip of the index (aka trigger) finger a sensor that's to be used while your holding a gun. No wonder they show it here with a plastic toy instead of a real gun with live ammo. [Technology Review