CHAPTER 1

Introduction

Nowadays, personal communication devices such as mobile phones are very popular all over the world. The success of mobile phones lies in the fact that interpersonal communication and interface is vital to the well-being of humans, and mobile phones help people achieve this goal by extending the sense of hearing and power of speech to far away places conveniently. However, apart from the auditory sense, humans also possess other senses for communication and interaction such as vision and body motion. These sensations play very important roles in our everyday interpersonal communication. In terms of technology, the state-of-the-art in sensing hardware, control software, telecommunication protocol, and computer networks has already allowed various forms of data to be transmitted and analyzed efficiently. So why can't we find multimodal sensation communication commonplace among the mobile devices? We believe that the lack of efficient human–machine interfaces has caused a bottleneck. Therefore, we have designed and built a series of mobile devices that possess perceptual powers and communication capabilities and can support intelligent interactions. We call this novel class of devices intelligent wearable interfaces.

1.1 THE INTELLIGENT WEARABLE INTERFACE

The human interface facilitates a new form of human–machine interaction comprising a small body-worn intelligent machine. The interface is always ready, always accessible, and always with the user. It is designed ...

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