Your Forearm Could Soon Morph Into an Augmented Reality Keyboard

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Has texting worn your thumbs to the nub? Help is on the way: Japanese electronics giant NEC is introducing new wearables that project an augmented reality keyboard onto your arm.

NEC announced the innovation, called ARmKeypad, earlier this week. Here’s how it works: Slip on special glasses and a special smartwatch. With the glasses on, you’ll see a full keyboard floating above your forearm. The glasses detect where your finger moves within the field, and that’s how they registers which “keys” you type. The watch, meanwhile, senses how fast you type and can alter the display of the keyboard, the Wall Street Journal reports.

It seems like it’d take a lot longer than thumb-texting would, but presumably, you’re not penning pages-long Dear John/Jane letters or working on your novella with this thing. It could be useful for brief memos or entering short commands. The company also says that ARmKeypad (“AR”—see what they did there?) has an edge over hands-free voice-recognition software, since the latter can’t be used in loud places like factories.


You may be able to use your arm as a keypad pretty soon—the company wants to commercialize the AR technology sometime next year.

[NEC via Wall Street Journal]

Top image via Wall Street Journal; bottom image via NEC