Vibrating glove to help you find items in supermarket

Vibrating glove to help you find items in supermarket

Do you often forget where you’ve parked your car, or have to struggle to find items in the supermarket? A new hi-tech glove will guide you!

The glove developed by researchers in Finland uses vibrating sensors to steer the users hand towards objects of interest. Researchers claim it could have wide ranging applications, from helping shoppers find items in a supermarket, to directing pedestrians about town and even finding a car in a large parking.

Researchers at HIIT and Max Planck Institute for Informatics combined computer vision and hand tracking with vibration feedback on the user’s hand to steer them toward an object of interest. Initial tests found an almost three-fold advantage in finding objects from complex visual scenes, such as library or supermarket shelves. “Finding an object from a complex real-world scene is a common yet time-consuming and frustrating chore,” the researchers said.

“The advantage of steering a hand with tactile cues is that the user can easily interpret them in relation to the current field of view where the visual search is operating. This provides a very intuitive experience, like the hand being ‘pulled’ toward the target,” Ville Lehtinen of HIIT, said. The glove is made up of inexpensive off-the-shelf components such as four vibrotactile actuators on a simple glove and a Microsoft Kinect sensor for tracking the user’s hand. “In search tasks where there were hundreds of candidates but only one correct target, users wearing the glove were consistently faster, with up to three times faster performance than without the glove,” said Dr Antti Oulasvirta.

“For instance, warehouse workers could have gloves that guide them to target shelfs, or a pedestrian could navigate using this glove,” Dr Petteri Nurmi from HIIT said.

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