Is this virtual wearable arm keyboard that future of user interface?

NEC has developed the ARmKeypad, a virtual keyboard that displays on your arm.


The keyboards work in tandem with other wearable tech like a pair of smart glasses and smart watches to display the virtual keyboard interface on the arm for hands-free data input.

Smart glasses give you the visual display of the keys and can detect your fingers moving over them. The watch acts as the “brains”, sensing the timing of your input and changing the display.


The ARmKeypad will be particularly useful for people working in engineering projects and other sites where they need to keep their hands free of burdensome, heavy equipment while carrying out measurements and inspections. Other types of work situations where the device will prove practical would be warehouse managers or other roles in logistics, as well as medical staff who need to ensure their hands are always available for more important things.

NEC has been developing this kind of tap-control portable device interface for a while.

Now they have finished developing it and, importantly, integrated it with other wearable technology to offer a real solution to work-station needs.

While there are similar hands-free devices that use voice recognition for input, NEC’s model has the edge in that it can be used in any acoustic environment (obviously things can get pretty noisy for certain health and safety inspectors and engineering teams).

To be honest, though, we’re not sure if this is Minority Report or more like Dick Tracy, though we’re keen to try the device out.

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