Turning the Finger into a Writing Tool
A novel writing platform composed of a wearable sensor on the fingernail and classification algorithms is described. Findings from using this platform to translate fingertip writing into shapes, letters, and numbers on a range of surfaces are reported. The new wearable platform leverages an architecture with miniaturized electronic circuitry to precisely measure a set of forces in the longitudinal and transverse directions using multiple strain gauges. We find that the directional pressure patterns are translated from the fingertip to the fingernail. Deformation of fingernails in the longitudinal and transverse directions are detected by the fingernail sensor which sends the data wirelessly to a portable electronic system. Fingernail pressure patterns are categorized through signal processing to recognize a range of shapes, numbers, and letters, enabling fingertip writing recognition. Use of the writing platform following a short training session, shows human fingertip writing on multiple surfaces were automatically transcribed to a computer.