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Mudra Mouse: Wearable Bracelet Gesture Mouse

Kannon Yamada 09-01-2020

The Mudra wearable mouse and media remote can control your devices with a wave of the hand or pinch of the fingers. Unlike other wearable control devices that convert hand motion into cursor movement, the Mudra Mouse uses a relatively unused approach called Surface Nerve Conduction (SNC). SNC is like electrocardiography except that it measures the electrical impulses that travel between the wearer’s brain to their hand.

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mudra mouse on the television screen

The Mudra comes equipped with a range of conductive sensors. These conductive pieces of metal function like the ECG sensors on the Apple Watch. In other words, the Mudra measures surface-of-the-skin electrical impulses running through the wearer’s wrist. After measuring those impulses, the Mudra then uses deep-learning algorithms to turn the analog wave forms into binary inputs, such as left or right-mouse clicks, scrolling, changing songs, and more.

For example, if you wear the mouse and want to left-click, the user makes an okay-sign with their fingers. By going through the mental processes to form a sign-language letter F, the Mudra software instantiates a left-click. Users than make a pinching motion in the air and then drag their hand. In the Windows operating system, this means that the user has clicked and dragged.

mudra mouse demonstration at ces 2020

If the Mudra does launch in 2020, it would enter a market with little competition. As of January 2020, only a handful of wireless (but not Bluetooth) competitors exist: the now ancient Mycestro Mycestro Wearable Mouse Review and Giveaway Mycestro turns your hand into a three-dimensional mouse. Waving your hand around as an input device might seem Harry Potter-esque, but for $150 your fantasy can become a reality. Read More . The Mycestro does not allow for Bluetooth pairing, although it uses Bluetooth as its underlying wireless connection standard.

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If the Mudra ever releases, it will enter an almost empty market with the Mycestro finger-worn mouse as the only competitor. (There is a knock-off of the Mycestro that sells on Amazon and from other retailers, but I would not recommend it.)

Other Wearable Mice or Controllers in 2020

The Padrone Ring Mouse

In 2020, the Padrone Ring mouse These 3D Mouse Wearables Killed the Mousepad at CES 2019 Want to control your devices by waving your hands around? The Tactigon Skin is a 3D mouse controller with Android VR support. Read More might relaunch its rescinded 2019 Kickstarter campaign. According to Padrone Ring founder Marc Speck, there remain a few technical issues that need to be solved before they can produce the ring. The device may appear as early as Mobile World Congress in 2020 but nothing is yet certain, although Speck believes that Padrone will make a CES 2021 appearance.

The Padrone Ring mouse uses a series of small cameras to instantiate mouse movement which is a distinct departure from the other methods, such as SNC and gyroscopic sensors. Overall, the technology is feasible and can be inserted inside of something as small as a ring.

The Tactigon Skin

The Tactigon Skin offers a similar degree of functionality to the Mudra Mouse, except it uses a combination of sensors ranging from an accelerometer to a gyroscopic sensor. Like the Mudra Mouse, the Tactigon Skin claims to offer a number of applications to real-world devices. One unique use-case is as a control device for drones, automatons, and other remote-control craft. However, the Tactigon Skin hasn’t released yet and may still be vaporware. It was successfully funded though.

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Barriers to Gyro Mice and Other Motion-Based Control Units

The downside of the technology behind all sensor-based, mouse-like input devices is battery life. Because wearable, “air mice” (because they function in the air) require constant sensor readings, it also consumes a great deal of power. And because the devices are wearable, they require light batteries. The combination of high drain with light batteries results in, unfortunately, short battery life. Whether we see Mudra’s technology in smartphones may rest entirely on refinements that improve on power consumption.

Explore more about: CES, Mouse Gesture, Wearable Technology.

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  1. Christoph Amma
    January 17, 2020 at 9:10 am

    Hi Kannon, interesting views on gesture control. I work for Kinemic, a company offering a wearable gesture controller targeting industrial users.

    I agree with James that no one needs it for the desktop. However there are applications in the industrial domain where you need to do simple interactions while working (checklists, assembly instructions) or think of switching between pause and play of your favorite bike repair tutorial while you actually repair it with dirty hands. Another use-case is the control of upcoming smart-glasses. Check out one of our videos if you are interested: https://youtu.be/zlA1gZAExF0

    • kannon
      January 24, 2020 at 2:57 am

      I actually wrote this article based on consumer electronics, not B2B, but Kinemic looks interesting!

  2. James
    January 9, 2020 at 7:55 pm

    Gesture control for desktop doesn't work. It never has, it never will. No one wants it, and it solves no problem that exists. As you say: there aren't really any competitors - because the market doesn't exist. (You forgot about Leap Motion though, that's the closest competitor I'd say?)

    In VR, it makes sense, but you don't need these peripherals in VR; as of last month, Oculus Quest does fantastic hand tracking from the cameras alone.

    • Kannon Yamada
      January 10, 2020 at 12:04 am

      Hey James, thanks for the comment! Always good to hear from you.

      Gesture controls SHOULD aim to replicate the gesture shortcuts that some of us use in smartphones. Where we turn physical motion (usually some kind of symbol/letter) into a function on a machine. Right now the method for implementing that on the desktop is truly nonexistent. The closest approximation we have are gyro mice.

      So I agree that to some extent that gesture control does not work on the desktop at all. But I do occasionally use an Android Wear (or WearOS) smartwatch to control an HTPC. I feel that sometime in the dystopian near-future we will have some method of using gestures and physical motion as a control input.

    • Kannon Yamada
      January 10, 2020 at 12:13 am

      Oops, sorry I had more to say.

      I love the LM, but it's not wireless so it will never be able to fully replace the many kinds of control devices that are out there. They also killed off their version of the gesture mouse in the latest version of the firmware, unfortunately. Which is a shame because it was one of the best on the market.

      If the Oculus Quest does straight up hand capturing without a controller, wow. We could eventually just replace every single input method with cameras eventually. That is probably where the technology is going.