Making interfaces touch-free is a problem with a number of solutions, such as voice control to hand gesture recognition. NEC’s ARmKeypad brings augmented reality (AR) into the mix to display a virtual interface onto the user’s arm, with input registered through vibrations from the tapping of fingers on the arm. Now the company has announced a new, tap-free version called the ARmKeypad Air that provides a completely contact-free interface.

NEC's ARmKeypad Air in operation
NEC’s ARmKeypad Air in operation (Source:

ARmKeypad Air doesn’t rely on physical tappings, but instead tracks the movements of a person’s fingers as they hover over the arm. That contactless interaction, along with the removal of the wearable sensor part of the system, makes it perfect for use in sterile environments like operating theaters or during food preparation.

NEC plans to use the ARmKeypad and ARmKeypad Air to help improve workplace efficiency in sectors where hands-free operation is required, such as manufacturing, medicine, security, and distribution.

> Read more by Michael Irving, gizmag, July 13, 2016

ARmKeypad Air keeps your grubby mitts off the interface