Development, fabrication and evaluation of passive interface gloves
Mehmood, Adnan; He, Han; Chen, Xiaochen; Khan, Zahangir; Ihalainen, Tiina; Virkki, Johanna (2021)
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Previously, glove-integrated communication based on gestures, hand movement and finger touch had a complex operating system and an active power source was needed. This paper introduces batteryless and maintenance-free interface gloves. Our solution is based on passive ultra-high frequency (UHF) radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, comprising four electro-textile antenna parts and three RFID microchips (each with a unique ID). The three RFID microchips have unique IDs, which can be activated by the gentle touch of the human finger and used to control the surrounding technology. The aim is to evaluate the reliability of different conductive materials and microchip attachment methods. The antennas are fabricated from two different materials: a stretchable and a non-stretchable commercial electro-textile. Further, two types of microchip attachment methods are used with both antenna materials: a conductive silver epoxy and embroidery with conductive multifilament silver-plated thread. The developed interface gloves are tested by six users in a home and in an office environment, where they achieve 93–100% success rates. Especially those glove interfaces with the antennas fabricated from the non-stretchable electro-textile and the antenna-microchip interconnections embroidered with conductive thread showed good read ranges (80–110 cm). The gloves also show practical functionality, when tested with a mobile reader in practical identification and access control application. These results are very encouraging, especially when considering that the interface glove, being maintenance-free and cost-effective, promises versatile and interesting applications for customizing user-friendly augmentative and alternative communication solutions, easy controlling of ambient assisted-living applications, and providing simple identification and access control for increased safety and comfort.
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