DAEJEON, April 20 (Korea Bizwire) – Patent applications for high-tech smart gloves are on the rise.
According to the Korea Intellectual Property Office, the number of smart glove patent applications quadrupled over the past five years (2012 to 2016) to an average of 17.8 per year from what was 4.6 patents between 2007 and 2011.
Of the 112 patent applications filed with the KIPO over the past decade, 40 percent (45 patents) were from businesses, followed by individuals (28), research institutes (20) and universities (19).
The latest smart glove patents usually integrate high-tech sensors with communications technologies, allowing various recognition features, such as for letters, braille, and human motions, and relaying that information via wired or wireless communication, including IoT technology.
Virtual touch technology is popular as well, offering users the physical sensation of a virtual or augmented space and objects.
Medical applications are also in high demand, and the patents include gloves capable of measuring different vital signs or assisting the disabled and patients undergoing rehabilitation treatment.
For example, a pair of “speaking gloves” could translate the sign language of a hearing-impaired person and play it back through a built-in speaker, while “translating gloves” can read braille for the visually-impaired, KIPO officials said.
“The demand and application for high-tech gloves will only grow with the fourth industrial revolution,” said a KIPO official.
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)