Hi everyone, my name is Dev Gurjar and I am a senior ECE student. I spent most of my first half at CMU taking technical courses in computer science and computer engineering. Midway through I decided to try out a couple of HCI courses to see how to apply programming in a more creative/user-centric manner. I fell in love, and decided to focus more on that end in my final semesters here. Naturally, I am very excited to take this class. Being a gamer I would love to explore anything in that realm.
Something neat I worked on in the past was my embedded systems capstone project, Twerty. The idea was that since the advent of tablets, there is an increasing need for keyboards on the go. The problem with physical keyboards however is that they take up space, so if you are on a plane for example, you might not have enough room for the keyboard, your tablet, and your beverage.
Twerty is a pair of gloves that is able to capture finger positions and clicks (via buttons on the fingertips) to capture key-presses from a touch-typing user. Unlike using the onscreen keyboard, Twerty lets you optimally use your screen real estate and provides tactile feedback. You can see the video for a brief overview, or visit http://www.ece.cmu.edu/~ece549/spring12/team27/ for more details and media. Credits to my team members: Prerak Patel, Daniel Jacobs, and Ben Wasserman who also made contributions to this project.
Overall I think that the project was a successful prototype – which was the purpose of the course. We demonstrated the technical feasibility of a glove keyboard. The glove also exposed a lot of its components, which made it easy for us to communicate its functionality.
On the down side our project fell short from being a polished ready-for-market product by a lot. Although it worked, it didn’t convince anyone that glove typing can be done gracefully. There were many limitations wit the physical nature of the glove as well. The buttons attached to the fingertips would often fall or fail to click, and our sewing (wearable electronics was new to us!) was quite bad. All in all, it was very evident that the idea needed several iterations – something we couldn’t do back then with our time budget.