Nevermind those fancy thought-based biometric systems and brain controlled computers, as a clever group of inventors have patented a foot-activated user interface that can bring mousing abilities to those without hands / arms (or a suitable amount of dexterity). Three blokes working for HP's UK operation have developed a prototype in which humans can use their feet in order to mimic cursor movements more traditionally handled by the keyboard's right-hand man. A magnetic sensor is affixed to one foot, while a transmitter emitting "pulsed magnetic signals" is clipped onto the other, and as the pulsating foot wiggles about, the relative distance and position is calculated and converted into cursor movements on screen. The designers have suggested that "twists" could be understood as "right / left clicks," while "sliding atop the ground" could be translated as "dragging and dropping." Aside from adding newfound utility to disabled individuals who'd like to get their frag on, the team has visions of creating the ultimate multitasker by "keeping the hands free" for handling phone calls and TV dinners while operating a "wearable computer" with their legs. While the folks at HP kick around the idea of releasing this on the market, we'll be sharpening our foot-eye coordination skills in tense anticipation.

[Via New Scientist Tech]

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HP researchers patent foot activated user interface