Have you ever tried pushing buttons on your music player while you’re out jogging or reaching for your cell phone when you’re stuck in a crowded train? It’s not a nice experience and a problem that NEC is trying to solve with a new system [press release in English] that is supposed to let you control consumer electronics by tapping your arm.
These technologies consist of compact acceleration sensors that are worn on each wrist and enable users’ arms to function as virtual control panels. When a user taps an arm, the sensors determine which area of the arm received contact. These areas are separated into 7 sections that each correspond to a virtual input switch that can be used to operate an electronic device.
The operation of conventional information-processing equipment requires users to stop their current activity and take action on an independent switch.
So if you’re jogging and listening to music at the same time, for example, the idea is to tap your left arm with the right hand (or vice versa) in order to pause a track or skip to the next one
NEC says that the technology works with any Bluetooth-enabled device, adding that they are trying to bring their system to market in one or two years.