Using hand gestures to communicate instructions to troops on the battlefield may seem as antiquated as arm signaling on the highway, but it’s reliable and convenient and therefore remains an integral part of troop interaction. RallyPoint in Cambridge, MA, has given the practice a high-tech update in the form of a computerized glove that reads a soldier’s hand signals and relays them wirelessly to troops and commanding officers who may be out of the line of sight. The glove incorporates various sensors that measure how fingers bend and touch and detect the direction and speed of hand movements.
A microprocessor translates the sensor readings into commands – “fall back,” for instance – which can then be sent to other soldiers over radio equipment and conveyed as symbols on helmet-mounted view screens or as verbal commands via an earpiece. RallyPoint is waiting to hear if it will receive its next round of funding for the project from the army.