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February 28, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

Researchers at Stanford University are developing a system for entering data into a computer using a special glove and a hand- signal language that could bring wearable computers one step closer. New Scientist magazine has reported that Vaughan Pratt, who heads research into wearable computers at Stanford, has developed a one-handed sign language called ‘thumb-code’ that works by touching and grouping fingers in different ways. The language enables 96 different combinations, allowing for the representation of upper and lower case letters, numbers and other characters. Pratt is now working on developing a glove with sensors that can detect the various positions involved in the sign language. But according to Pratt, the language can be used without the glove, he says that video cameras and image recognizing software could also recognize the hand positions. Pratt claims the language is easier to learn than Morse code and once learned, speeds of 30 words per minute can be achieved. Once developed, the system could be used to write emails or write documents while walking down the street

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