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Wearable insole controls devices by kicking

Publishing & Media

KickSoul will enable users to interact with digital devices using feet gestures when their hands are full.

There are a growing number of touchscreen gestures (such as finger angling) enabling enhanced smartphone interactivity. But with more digital devices in our lives, what happens when our hands are full? Researchers at MIT are working on KickSoul, a control system for feet.

The wearable insole maps natural feet movement, and will enable users to interact with their devices using a variety of kick gestures. While still in prototype stage, the team have created a sensor that detects when the foot is moved forwards or backwards, which they programmed to perform simple tasks such as saving documents when both hands are busy typing. Kicksoul could also be used to control smartphones and other smart home appliances — for example, when users have an armful of shopping, side-stepping can swipe open notifications on their phones, and tapping can turn on the thermostat or lights.

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Increasing the variety of interactions with our smart devices will allow a greater level of simultaneous control, improving functionality and convenience. How else can we utilize foot gestures for an enhanced user experience?

Email: xavib@media.mit.edu

Website: www.mit.edu/kicksoul

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