|Category:||EE & Hardware (back to list)|
|Project Page:||Clove 2 (Cemetech Bluetooth Dataglove) project page|
|Summary:||Clove 2 is a bluetooth dataglove used for one-handed typing. It uses a 31-combination finger chording design with three modes to allow every key on a standard keyboard to be typed with minimal effort. The bluetooth functionality removes the need to tether it to a computer, and since it profiles as a standard HID Keyboard, a simple translation layer to perform key remapping, sticky modifiers, and mode switching is the only software required. It consists of three components, the glove itself, the bluetooth module, and a custom charger for the Bluetooth module.|
|Begin:||May 16, 2008|
|Completed:||July 8, 2008|
The Cemetech Bluetooth Dataglove, or Clove 2 for short (pronounced like the spice) is a project to allow one-handed typing in situations where it might be impossible or impractical to use a traditional keyboard. It has been designed to allow the user to type any character from a keyboard with minimal effort, and thus is arranged with most frequently-used keys immediately accessible and less-used keys requiring two or three finger strokes to access. No character requires more than four finger combinations from any other character. It is built from easily-acquired parts, and the most complex component, the Bluetooth module, is taken from a commercial keyboard. Total cost of construction is roughly USD$60, including the glove, bluetooth module, and charger. Because all key interpretation is performed in software on the host device, remapping the keys or modifying its functionality is trivial. A sample translation application was built as a script for the Windows program AutoHotkey, but creating a translation layer or driver for any device would take minimal effort. The Bluetooth nature of the glove both allows connection to a wider range of devices than with other interfaces such as USB or PS/2, and of course makes usage more elegant by eliminating the need for a physical tether to the host.2. Photos, Videos, Details
Click on any of the thumbnails below for the full-sized image
Typing on the dataglove is very similar to typing on a regular keyboard, in that every combination does something and most do different things depending on modifiers like Shift, Alt, and Ctrl. However, due to the limited number of available finger combinations, more functions must be crammed onto each key (6 on most keys). In addition to the three standard modifiers, Space has only a single function, as does the Mode key. Mode switches between alpha mode, navigation/symbol mode, and symbol/function mode. I have found that the easiest way to memorize numbers and symbols is to remember with what letter they share a finger combination. Mode toggles between the three modes, and the sample driver software I wrote provides audio cues during mode switching. Every key combo that performs an action makes a clicking noise, while modifiers each have their own tone. Enabling and disabling the glove also plays a tone sequence, so overall the glove is somewhat usable without a screen in front of the user. Alt and Ctrl are sticky: pressing Alt or Ctrl and then a key produces the same effect as holding the modifier and hitting the key on a normal keyboard. Pressing Alt and/or Ctrl a second time without a key to modify turns Alt and/or Ctrl off again. Shift operates differently, acting either as Alt and Ctrl, or if pressed twice, locking into Caps Lock. A third tap turns off Caps Lock. Below are listed all keys typable with the glove:
The dataglove does not require great skill to build, but does require a fair bit of patience and persistence. It will be easier if you use the same materials as I did, but if you use a different keyboard, bluetooth or otherwise, you will have to derive your own keymap. I'll begin with the tools and materials needed to create the glove, module, and charger, then move on to the actual instructions and plans.
While the glove itself is not the most challenging piece of Clove 2 to construct, it is (to my knowledge) the most novel. Two categories of steps are needed to construct the finished glove, soldering of the flexible connector between glove and bluetooth module, and the sewing of the conductive traces on the glove. I will begin with the process of soldering the connector, then move on to sewing the traces, a simple but tedious task.
The charging circuit in the charging dock for Clove 2 is fairly simple, and based on an original charger design by Scott Henion of SHDesigns, designed in 2003. The circuit for Clove 2 is designed to work with a 3.7v LiPoly battery pack under no load, as the original keyboard used was designed for a pair of AA batteries. The charging circuit will properly charge the battery pack, varying current so that it remains full while protecting against overcharging. To create the charging dock:
As detailed above, the software that translates keypresses detected by the glove into keypresses on the host system is fairly simple. I wrote a Windows script for a program called AutoHotkey, freeware for most versions of Windows (but not *nix or Mac OS). I plan to eventually create ports to (almost definitely) *nix and (possibly) Mac OS. The source code of the script can be downloaded at the link below. Note that while this will work properly only with the module from the Dell Bluetooth Keyboard that I used, a few simple edits to correct the keys corresponding to each of the 31 finger combinations will suffice to modify it for any keyboard. To activate or deactive the dataglove/translation layer, press ctrl-alt-C.
clove2.ahk - Plaintext Clove 2 translation script for AutoHotkey (AHK/TXT, 4.76KB)
Please be advised that the Clove 2 Bluetooth Dataglove is a personal project, not a commercial offering. As such, no warranty is made to its fitness or appropriateness for any application or use. All information in this page from other sources has been properly attributed to the best of my knowledge, and if I am in error, please inform me at email@example.com, replacing the double e with a single e. Of course, as this page contains instructions for replicating my work, I and Cemetech disclaim any and all rsponsibility for damage, injury, etc resulting from following the instructions on this page or anywhere else on this site. If you try to make your own dataglove, you claim all responsibility for injury, damage, etc resulting from building or using the device. A bit of common sense, don't use one while walking around unless you're moderately confident of your ability not to run into cars or walls while trying to type one-handed.
With all that boilerplate out of the way, please feel free to contact me about this project for more pictures, instructions, feedback, comments, or help with your own version. Your best bet is to write a post on the forums here, but failing that, try me at firstname.lastname@example.org, replacing the double e with a single e. Hope you enjoyed this!
Unless otherwise noted, all schematics, plans, instructions, and information on this page (c) 2006-2008 Christopher Mitchell (Kerm Martian) and Cemetech. Except for fair use, this page or its embedded and attached information may not be reproduced without proper attribution to the author or the express written permission of the author.