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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sit Back, Relax, and Surf the Web with your Feet

For the majority of us using a computer comes as second nature - we just sit down in front of one, put our hand on top of the mouse, and start being productive (or not!). Unfortunately, for a lot of people out there it's not that simple. To help those afflicted by disabilities that prevent them from using a PC a few bright folks from the UK wing of HP came up with a great idea, which would allow a user to control his system via a foot-controlled user interface. Apart from helping people who are missing limbs, this new technology could also allow people to wear their computer on their legs, and use them from any location while having their hands free.

Unlike existing foot "mice," the wireless device is to be worn on the foot, not operated as an external device by the foot. This would allow a freer range of motion and presumably more natural use. It is intended to be strapped to the foot or shoe of the user and, using an accelerometer and magnetic sensor, a reference unit can calculate relative positioning of the foot to translate it on the user interface. Various foot movements could be programmed to mean specific actions, such as twisting the foot for a left or right click. Although this sounds like a sport only to be practiced while on the comfort of your own couch, the patent claims that the device could also be used while standing.

Read more.



1 Comments:

  • When a woman at work broke both her wrists snowboarding, I recommended using a large trackball with her feet (they laughed at me). Testing it out myself, I was actually better with it using my feet than my hands (I'm not a trackball person).

    By Blogger timbo, at 11:13 AM  

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