Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo


Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

Semiautomatic mouse pad: Forrest Liau, one of the glove’s engineers, is demonstrating how a soldier could use its controls while gripping a weapon.

Three accelerometers are built into the back of the glove to sense the orientation and position of the hand, so that conventional hand-arm signals–long an important communication mechanism on the battlefield–can be used to send text commands to other soldiers’ screens. A miniature computer built into the glove connects through a USB cord to the soldier’s wearable computer system.

Thad Starner, an associate professor of computing at Georgia Tech and one of the pioneers of wearable computing systems (he has worn one daily since 1993), says that RallyPoint’s real innovation is sensors that are light enough for soldiers’ use and can be sewn into a glove.

The problem with most new soldier technologies is that people are trying to do too much, says Starner. Land Warrior, a wearable computer system built by the U.S. Army last year, was full of cords, batteries, and hardware that weighed almost 17 pounds. “It was an overkill of features, and the military stripped it down to its most essential parts,” says Starner. “Soldiers are adapting the technology to their needs.”

Starner says that by incorporating new types of sensors, like the track-pad-style mouse, into the glove, RallyPoint is creating something novel. The next step, he says, would be to make the glove wireless and to design it so that it doesn’t impede soldiers’ tactile sensations.

It’s time that someone created something real and usable, and RallyPoint seems to have done just that, says Kortuem.

13 comments. Share your thoughts »

Credits: Brittany Sauser

Tagged: Computing, sensors, wearable computing, soldiers, cyborg

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives


Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me