Smart Fabric Wearable that will improve your motor skills is here now.
What will this smart fabric help you achieve? How will this haptic wearable be useful to you?
Haptic wearables are the new ‘in’ these days. Recently, we have seen an increase in the usage of wearables by people all across the globe. People are relying much upon them for tracking their daily physical and mental activities. Recently introduced, these new haptic wearables are a unique type of gadget as they allow a human-computer interaction by the touch of the hand.
Let’s say you are learning to play tennis and your main focus is to practice on your forehand swing. The number of tutorials or videos you watch is not sufficient here, since practice makes you perfect. And when it comes to practice, it can be made perfect only if there’s someone to guide you where exactly to hit, when to do it, and how much your arm is supposed to move. Here’s where this smart fabric wearable will come in handy.Although there are many advancements yet to come and many hurdles to cross, the haptic wearables tech is being refined each day. These wearables have tremendous applications in the health and wellness sector, sports and games sector, and training and industrial sector. Haptic wearables transfer information from the robot to the human body through the sense of touch. Sometimes, the wearable applies force to a certain part of the body that is responsible for the error. That will enable the transmission of real-time information between the user and the robot.
Researchers from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland have successfully managed to create a fabric-based haptic sleeve. This sleeve is capable of controlling drone flight through arm movement. It can be useful in training users by showing them corrective forces to body joints. Like it can teach a novice user the correct way to perform a forehand swing.
Initially, the drone was programmed to fly in a vertical plane at a fixed speed. Subjects were assigned to navigate the plane along the course and control its altitude by either flexing or extending the arm. With the movement of the arm, the height of the plane could be altered. When the drone got too close to the wall, the user could receive feedback about its close proximity. That would prevent a collision.
Later on, the subjects performed another drone flight where they examined skill retention. They navigated a series of rings placed at equal distances but at different altitudes. It was noted that users wearing the haptic fabric sleeve performed better and they were really satisfied with its usage. It really improved their motor skills and allowed them a rapid movement of the hand.
Furthermore, researchers are also now thinking of developing such smart textiles for different body joints. Infact, an interface can be developed for the entire arm from the fingers to the shoulders. The user can control various robots over his body but these will allow him a natural movement in space whenever needed.
The Smart Fabric Wearable is the most innovative item of the year 2020-2021. It definitely will be really useful while providing training for various kinds of sports, dancing, playing instruments, etc. Let’s keep our fingers crossed to see what else is coming up for us very soon!