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Walking On the Mobile Web

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[ Technology]

Perhaps the title reminds you of that encouragement from Google to go Walking, Talking, Searching, Finding on the Mobile Web. However Jacqui Cheng has spotted a different way of using your feet. Apparently HP has now come out with a control device for computers that can be activated by your feet.


The researchers have filed a patent for a foot-controlled user interface that is intended to be used with a wearable computing device, but may also be used with a desktop computer.

Unlike existing foot “mice,” the wireless device is to be worn on the foot, not operated as an external device by the foot. This would allow a freer range of motion and presumably more natural use. It is intended to be strapped to the foot or shoe of the user and, using an accelerometer and magnetic sensor, a reference unit can calculate relative positioning of the foot to translate it on the user interface. Various foot movements could be programmed to mean specific actions, such as twisting the foot for a left or right click.

Although we believe that speech technology will be the most likely method used to surf the mobile web, involving the feet as well may not be a bad idea. Certainly it beats pecking away at small keyboards. Who knows, in the future that person dancing down the sidewalk may well be doing a Yahoo search for the nearest coffee shop.

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