Dad Builds Gloves to Teach His Kids Proper Typing Skills

/ 6 years ago


David Schneider was a bit bothered by his kids typing skills and decided to do something against it. Not that they couldn’t type fast, but it was hectic and inefficient. He decided to fix this himself and did so by building haptic gloves to teach them.

David got the inspiration for his gloves from Thad Starner’s gloves that could teach the wearer to play Beethoven. These might not be as fascinating as his model, but the results still speak for themselves. The gloves were created by sewing miniature vibrating motors into a pair of cycling gloves, one for each finger and then controlling them with an Arduino nano.

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The Arduino nano (ATmega168) controls the eight vibrating motors and each one has the corresponding letters assigned. For example if an A was required, the motor for the left pinky would be activated. The software part is combination of Tkinter to make the interface and python fr the rest of the code. So far his software is fairly simple and just uses the 100 most common words form the English language.

He also got his wife to record the words as audio and that is played along with a show of the word to type in 64 point red typeface, one letter at a time. At the same time the Arduino board activates the corresponding motor and the user learns what finger to use for what key. The application has the option for variable speed, can skip words and also gives feedback on the entered letters in 64 point red typeface.


David reveals that the tool works very well to help teach his children, but will look to install a game of sorts in the future. “I’ve not yet figured out the particulars, but somehow I’ll have to add motivational timers, badges, health points, and bright, flashing ‘game over’ blinkers if I want my 11-year-old to benefit from my high-tech typing tutor.”

It doesn’t take much besides some ingenuity any more, and of curse an Arduino board, to create some relative simple and useful toys as well as learning tools. The more of these simple things I see, the more I need to get myself a couple of these to play around with.

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