The #HashtagGloves are a tweeting wearable — and are #awesome

If you’re like our team, then you are huge fans of late-night television. From the days of Johnny Carson to Jay Leno to Jimmy Fallon, we love it all — which is why this recent project from a group of Olin College students certainly caught our attention.

Inspired by The Tonight Show skit featuring Justin Timberlake, the Makers devised a new invention: hashtag gloves. Rather than having to pull out their smartphone and access its mobile app, Twitter users can simply tap their fingers twice using the “hashtag” symbol and speak loudly.

“We were watching Jimmy Fallon and he did this sketch where they said ‘hashtag’ every time they spoke and made this motion with their fingers,” Maker Keenan Zucker told TODAY.com. “It was pretty silly, so that was part of the inspiration for the idea.”

Well, silly or not, we #LOVE #THIS #IDEA.

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While wearables have received quite a bit of buzz in recent years, ranging from Google Glass to Apple Watch, analysts are anticipating smart garments (like gloves) to explode in the coming year. Aside from its mainstream applications, innovative DIY projects like these certainly showcase other ways in which the embedded technology can revolutionize the way we interact with our digital world.

The group first piloted their idea for tweeting gloves during a local hacker event at nearby Mount Holyoke College. Evident by their Twitter feed, it was a #SUCCESS.

“This is not a groundbreaking technology,” Maker Patrick Huston explained to TODAY.com. “It’s more a fun project we thought up for a hackathon.”

The gloves are comprised of conductive material on the fingers, while one glove has a current running through it. When fingers from the second glove disrupt that voltage, it knows when to start transcribing a user’s words through voice recognition, thereby formulating a tweet. #PRETTY #COOL #RIGHT?

Moving forward, the team says it is attaching an even smaller microphone and an [Atmel basedArduino board to the gloves and syncing them to the wearer’s phone, which will enable expedited tweeting on-the-go. The challenge is to keep shrinking the parts until they are all small enough to fit on normal-looking gloves.

“We still have a lot of school in front of us,” Zucker added. “We’re going to work on it more, but we don’t know how far it’s going to go.”

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Do we sense a Kickstarter campaign in the near future? Or, how about at a Maker Faire near you? All we can say is that it’s a super fun, exciting idea that has certainly garnered a pretty decent amount of attention. The only question is: Will Jimmy Fallon take note?

The team also notes that the concept of tapping gloves or other items of e-texiled clothing to access the web or social media could transcend beyond the novelty territory, and possess tremendous benefits for those with disabilities or even the elderly.

“We don’t necessarily see the gloves as a super-serious invention but maybe more as a jumping off point for some other cool ideas,” Huston concludes.

Have you ever tried to send a tweet from your phone, but your hands are just too darn cold to type? Luckily, #THERES #A #NEW #WEARABLE #FOR #YOU.

With winter just about here, we forecast some hashtag gloves in your future to complement that smart hoodie.

1 thought on “The #HashtagGloves are a tweeting wearable — and are #awesome

  1. Pingback: Rewind: 25 must-know wearables from 2014 | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World

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