07-20  作者:  来源:英语世界

New Wearable Keyboards Could Be Sewn into Clothing


文/蔡宙 译/刘丰 审订/亚男
By Charles Q. Choi

The Apple Watch and Google Glass are some of the most widely known wearable devices, but the ways users can interact with these “smart” gadgets are limited. For instance, it would be pretty difficult to type a message out on the face of a watch. And forget even trying with a pair of smart glasses. But now, researchers have developed wearable keyboards made of electronics knitted together like fabric that could lead to a new kind of human-machine interface.
苹果手表和谷歌眼镜是最广为人知的可穿戴设备, 但用户与这些“智能”物件的互动方式却有限。例如,在智能手表表盘输入文字信息相当困难, 更甭想在智能眼镜上尝试输入信息了。但如今,研究人员已经研发出电子元件织成的面料般的可穿戴键盘,这种键盘可提供一种全新的人机互动界面。

Right now, the key way that people interact with computers is by using the keyboard, researchers say. However, creating wearable keyboards for wearable electronics is a challenging task—such keyboards have to be large to fit enough keys to be useful, and must be flexible and stretchable to follow the movements of the human body.

In the past three years or so, researchers have tried to make electronics more wearable by making them like clothing—for instance, by knitting wires together into fabrics. These electronic textiles can get stretched up to the limit where the fibers are straightened. Such technology “provides a simple way to interact with machines,” said Esma Ismailova, a polymer science engineer at the National School of Mines in Gardanne, France, and co-author of a new study describing the new keyboards.

The researchers started with polyester fabric. They stenciled the outline for an electronic circuit onto the fabric using an electrically insulating silicon rubber called PDMS. Then, they brush-painted an electrically conductive plastic called PEDOT:PSS onto the outline to fill it out. Finally, they coated this electronic circuit with more PDMS.
起初,研究人员从聚酯织物开始着手研究,他们用一种叫做PDMS 的电子绝缘硅胶将电路轮廓模印在织物上;随后,他们又把一种叫做PEDOT:PSS的导电塑料刷填在轮廓槽中并且填满;最后,涂抹更多的PDMS将电路覆盖。

The scientists used electrodes to connect this circuit to a computer. Square and rectangular patches of the circuit served as the keys of a keyboard. Pressing down on these patches generated easily detectable electrical signals.

The prototype keyboard can be worn on a sleeve and has 11 keys, representing the numbers 0 to 9 as well as an asterisk. The researchers noted that this fabric could be stretched by up to 30 percent and that after 1,000 cycles of stretching and relaxation, the fabric stayed about 90 percent as electrically conducting as it did at the start.
这种原型键盘可以戴在衣袖上,有11个按键,代表数字0至9以及一个星号。研究人员指出,这种织物的拉伸幅度可达30%,经过1000 次反复拉伸和舒张后,织物仍然保持初始导电性能的90%。

“A wearable keyboard would provide a more intuitive interface for tactile input than the touch-sensitive face of a smartwatch or the hand gestures that control devices such as the Google Glass,” Ismailova told LiveScience[1].

The researchers suggested that textile keyboards could be woven not only into clothing, but also into furniture, wallpaper and other surfaces. Such technology “promises to enrich our daily lives with smart accessories and to change the way we interact with computers,” Ismailova said.

“One could envision, for example, using such a keyboard to control their smartphone, activity-tracking device or, down the road[2], an implantable medical device,” Ismailova said. “It is a rather straightforward technology, so I would expect some applications in less than five years. Applications in biomedical—for example, textile electrodes for monitoring the heart—might take a bit longer due to regulations.”
“比如,人们可以想象, 用这样一个键盘控制他们的智能手机、活动跟踪装置,甚至在不久的将来,用它来控制植入式医疗器件。”伊斯迈洛娃说,“这是一个相当简单的技术,所以我期望在五年之内能够实现一些应用。但是,受限于各种法规,在生物医学方面的应用,例如,用织物电极来监视心脏,可能需要更长时间。”

[1] 美国生命科学网,一个致力于科学新闻分享的网站,成立于2004 年。
[2] 一段时间之后。


由商务印书馆主办的《英语世界》杂志创刊于1981年。该刊是一本面向大学师生及其他英语爱好者的阅读学习类刊物,系中国第一家英汉对照的英语学习杂志。该刊宗旨是“文拓视野、译悦心灵”,向以内容新颖、形式活泼而著称。创刊以来,由于选文隽永雅致,刊中文章经常受到《读者》、《青年文摘》等杂志转载。先后荣获 “编校质量奖”、“全国百种重点社科期刊”、“国家期刊提名奖”、 “优秀期刊奖”等荣誉。2009年,中国期刊协会授予该刊“新中国60年有影响力的期刊”证书。


  • 陈羽纶陈羽纶(1917~2010),《英语世界》杂志首任主编,教授级资深编审。 曾多年担任英语教科书、英语读物、英语词典的编译及审订工作。1988年作为翻译家被收入《中国翻译家词典》,1988~1989年美国纽约大学、英国布鲁内尔大学与英国基尔大学访问学者。1991年被国家人事部定为早期回国定居有特殊贡献专家,享受国务院发放一级津贴待遇。2003年12月获中国出版工作者协会、中国韬奋基金会颁发的第八届中国韬奋出版奖。

  • 徐式谷徐式谷(1935~ ),江苏扬州人,《英语世界》第二任主编,北京商务印书馆编审,前副总编辑,中国译协理事、副秘书长,重庆大学兼职教授,第九届、第十届全国政协委员。有《笛福文选》等译著多种,并发表过多篇译学文论,被中国翻译协会授予“资深翻译家”称号,被中国期刊协会授予“新中国60年有影响力期刊人”称号。

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