The remote will be obsolete shortly. We already see a number of day to day gadgets that run on Touchless Technology. All one has to do is move ones hands to operate a television or clap to put the lights off.
While there exist a number of wearable gesture interfaces today that have made things simpler, the scope seems to be limitless.
What comes as a learning is that the gesture based technologies which were meant to ease the experience are too tiring on prolonged use. Secondly, the existing devices mix both wearable tech and touch-less technology and making it more complex for users.
A group of young entrepreneurs is working on developing a device they call wearfin to tackle these issues.
The expected ourcome is a stylish ring that will be worn on the thumb making it simple to operate.
The movements and gestures required to operate would not tire you out on prolonged use since the various parts of the palm are easily accessible to the thumb.
Secondly,unlike other options, which operate a single device, fin would control up to three gadgets at the same time.
To an onlooker, it might seem like the operator is just making classical dance like mudras or swishing the fingers to operate the phone, microwave and the music system all together while he is relaxing in front of the TV!!
How it works
Fin is fitted with a bunch of sensors that can detect finger taps, swipes and identify various parts of the palm by calculating their distance from the thumb. It uses smart Low Energy Technology such as Bluetooth for communication with connected devices.
Fin can transmit these natural gestures as commands to any connected Bluetooth device, such as a smartphone, a music player, a gaming console, a digital interface inside a car, a television set or a home automation device.
How it works
A person driving a car will be able to use Fin as their key, or take phone calls or control the music player without taking their hands off the steering wheel; a Smartphone user would rub the index finger against the thumb to zoom their screens in and out and they can assign numbers to different sections of their fingers, turn their hand into a numeric keypad and tap in a phone number without even touching the phone.
The initial user feedback has found it as a useful gadget to change music tracks while jogging or to attend calls while driving or while at kitchen with the least amount of hassle.
It is also likely to benefit the visually impaired incredibly since they would be able to operate a smartphone by making their palm the interface.
Many other devices available with touch-less technology like the smartwatch need the other hand to operate,which the fin will not need.
Similarly,in head mounted displays like the google glass, voice commands may not be the best thing to use in a crowded place and swiping constantly can be a hassle.Here again fin would offer an easy way out.
One of the key challenges faced during the developement was the battery factor.
It will come with a custom Lithium ion battery with micro-USB charging dock and last more than one month (Smart Saving Mode) on full charge. The team is working on how much it can provide when the product will be shipped. For now the battery can last for a month in Smart Power Saving mode provided users use it only 8 hours daily. Smart Power Saving mode is a smart feature that is included in Fin so that the sensors that consume more power will be only alive when Fin makes a Touch contact with the fingers. Therefore, unless otherwise a user interacts with it will be in a sleep mode. Having said that, as of now Fin can last up to 2 days on a single charge if it is heavily used whole time throughout the day. For a mild usage, it can last up to a week.
For Fin developer edition, there will be only five predefined gestures for control. For the final product (Fin Smart Version) Users will be able to customize Fin according to their needs along with the five predefined basic gestures with the app that will be provided free with the Device.
“We are looking at wearable technology pioneers, tech-lovers, early adopters, and creative developers to support Fin and take the concept forward,” says Rohildev N, the 23-year-old founder and CEO of Fin Robotics. “It is a technology with endless possibilities. We have ourselves come up with hundreds of ideas for applications to integrate with Fin, but we know that we haven’t even scratched the surface of what is possible.”
Fin Robotics which is incubated at Startup Village in Kochi, has completed the Fin prototypes and testing. It is now gearing up to take the device into production and has launched a campaign on the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo (http://igg.me/at/wearfin) with the target of raising USD 202,000 over 60 days.
Fin is the first hardware product developed by Kochi-based robotics startup Fin Robotics. They also registered company in United States under the name Fin Robotics Inc. They were invited as one of the 15 finalists from 11 countries in the first TechCrunch Hardware Battlefield ‘14 that was held during the recent CES event in Las Vegas. In late 2013, they were also selected among one of the top 50 startups from around the word to pitch and showcase their idea at Europe’s largest startup event, Pioneers Festival. (www.wearfin.com)
By mid 2015,the Fin team hopes to complete product/software development and testing; and launch the developers’ version. By September this year the full-feature Fin is expected to be shipped to the early backers.
Indiegogo Link: http://igg.me/at/wearfin
Fin Website : http://www.wearfin.com