A Touch-Sensitive Belt Lets You Subtly Control a Wearable Display

By Andrew Liszewski on at

The first time around, Google Glass wasn’t exactly a runaway hit. But the technology behind it will certainly be improved to the point where it can eventually be integrated into a regular pair of glasses. And for when that day gets here, there’s now a novel and subtle way to navigate your wearable display using the belt around your waist.

The aptly-named “Belt” device, developed by researchers at Germany’s Ulm University, still works to hold up your trousers. But it’s also covered in an emo-appropriate grid of metal touch-sensitive studs that the wearer can slide their fingers across to scroll lists, tap to make selections, or perform other specific gestures to navigate the UI on their wearable device without having to touch the side of their head.

Through software the entire length of the belt can be used as a touch-friendly interface, or it can be limited to just a small area above the front pockets if the wearer wants their gestures and motions to be extra subtle. Clever software will presumably also be able to ignore accidental gestures as an arm brushes against the belt, especially for those who for some reason choose to tuck their shirts in.

[ACM Digital Library - Belt: An Unobtrusive Touch Input Device for Head-worn Displays]