Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a wearable wristband and ring combination that can detect the exact position of the index finger. The system can also continuously track the position of the user’s index finger. The researchers say the ring sends a signal that is received by a wristband that identifies the position and direction of the ring and the fingers it wears on the body.
The team says it is considering next-generation computing platforms. They wanted to create a tool to capture the fine things we do with our fingers, not just gestures or finger pointing, and wanted a system that could fully track our fingers.
AuraRing is made up of a wire that orbits a 3D printed ring 800 times. The current generates a magnetic field through the wire and is received by the sensor on the wristband. Depending on the valuedetected by the sensor, the continuous and precise position of the ring in space can be determined. This data is then used to determine the position of the finger. The scientists in the project chose the magnetic field method because other methods would require wireless communication to stream all location data, which would consume a lot of power. They say power consumption is why most smart rings only detect gestures.
AuraRing consumes only 2.3 milliwatts of power and produces an oscillating magnetic field where the wristband can be continuously sensed. This eliminates the need for communication from rings to wristbands. Continuous tracking allows AuraRing to pick up handwriting that can be used in response to the text sent. Magnetic fields can also track fingers when they are not visible.