Navy

Hall-effect sensor system for gesture recognition, information coding, and processing

Nonverbal communication device for noisy, silence-mandated, or extreme environments

Communications Sensors
Initial protype

Initial prototype

The Hall-effect was discovered in 1879 by Edwin Herbert Hall. In simple terms, it deals with how electric current and magnetic fields interact when they are perpendicular to each other and how these interactions generate a measurable change. Using this property it is possible to detect an affected object’s vector as it moves through a magnetic field.

Navy researchers have invented a glove that allows for gesture motion to be recognized and translated into commands. The glove has Hall-effect sensors at the end of each finger and a sensor unit with a micro controller mounted at the palm or wrist. The sensor unit has a flux-producing element that forms a magnetic-flux region. When a user moves the fingertip Hall-effect sensors within the magnetic flux region, current is inducted in the Hall-effect sensors. This information is transposed into digital signals by the microcontroller and wirelessly transmitted to a counterpart system for further action. The glove can also be outfitted with an accelerometer and gyroscope to aid in determining what gestures are being performed. The glove can facilitate nonverbal communication from human-to-human or human-to-machine. For example, if a person in an extremely cold environment needs to type a code into a keypad, she would likely remove her thick glove to enter information, and thus expose her hand to the harsh environment. This invention would allow the operator to enter information through gestures without removing any protection.

This technology is related to US patent 8,279,091.

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