Our cyborg future may soon be at hand, fellow humans: Japanese electronics corporation NEC announced last week that it has developed a virtual arm keyboard that will allow users to type on their arms. Is this the first step in creating a fully integrated human computer? Will we soon have our tablets and phones embedded in our bodies?! Such speculation may be premature (though it’s certainly enjoyable), but this technology could have a major affect on how people in a number of professions operate, and — who knows? — the days of texting by tapping tiny keys with your thumbs could soon be replaced by typing one handed on your own body.
The device, called “The ARmKeypad,” is composed of two parts: a pair of glasses and a smartwatch. The glasses allow the user to see the virtual keys and distinguish the motions of the user’s fingers, while the watch controls the keyboard displays. The ARmKeypad could prove particularly useful for workers who need to be able to use two hands at once to do their jobs. NEC told The Wall Street Journal that its virtual keyboard is superior to other devices used for workers in need of both hands; voice recognition devices, for example, have the disadvantage requiring a quiet environment to function. NEC suggests that the ARmKeypad could have applications in security, maintenance service, document management, medicine, and manufacturing.
NEC plans to release the ARmKeypad in 2016. Check out the device in action in the video below: