Wearable tech that helps you navigate by touch | Keith Kirkland

  • Published on Apr 26, 2019
  • Keith Kirkland is developing wearable tech that communicates information using only the sense of touch. He's trying to figure out: What gestures and vibration patterns could intuitively communicate ideas like "stop" or "go"? Check out his team's first product, a navigation device for the blind and visually impaired, and learn more about the entirely new "haptic language" he's creating to power it.
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  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 79

  • Kool Kustomer
    Kool Kustomer 8 months ago

    Is the watch perfected for production? Where can I get one?

  • B Welkinator
    B Welkinator 8 months ago +2

    Wow! A TED worth viewing .... AT Last!!

  • Invox
    Invox 8 months ago

    If something like this could be put on a hat, or a hoddie, and with touch alert visually impaired people to 'navigate' the street without even using a cane... That would be so awesome!

  • barry weber
    barry weber 8 months ago

    Great Talk!!!

  • Nepzification
    Nepzification 9 months ago

    imagine how scary it can get on its future generations.....a wearable that controls your body through touch

  • Games Explorer 2
    Games Explorer 2 9 months ago

    A human crutch in the making, if you allow people to stop relying on their danger senses, their ability to process information from their surroundings. People will begin to rely on it too much and lose their ability for self preservation. People will de-evolve and begin to rely on it 100%...

  • mhtinla
    mhtinla 9 months ago


  • L454RU5
    L454RU5 9 months ago

    Anyone know where that shirt is from?

  • Lunareon
    Lunareon 9 months ago

    Why would you go through the trouble of learning a foreign language to understand how it works, when there's the whole field of general linguistics that has already studied and collected precisely that information for practically all languages of the world? Furthermore, choosing all but one languages from the same family is just a bad bad choice to begin with. Otherwise an interesting idea. Just, maybe find an actual linguist to work with you if you want use linguistics as the base for your system. :)

  • Felix Tsang
    Felix Tsang 9 months ago +1

    We could combine autopilot technologies with this to navigate our body. Simply wear a light weight sensor backpack that sense the environment around the user and send calculated feedback to the vibration device. this could evade collision and report road material ahead (flat, slope, smooth, unsafe) by using voice assistance (collision alert)

  • Malcolm Pagett
    Malcolm Pagett 9 months ago +5

    Why is this less than 7 mintues long? Stuff like this deserves a lot longer.

    • Stephen Sullivan
      Stephen Sullivan 8 months ago

      On the other hand, kudos for presenting a very powerful idea in a short time.

  • Alex
    Alex 9 months ago +2

    ....why does this guy remind me of black Jesus

  • Constantine B
    Constantine B 9 months ago

    The Universal language of humans is our consciousness which is a proven force from our hearts which has been proven to produce more energy than our minds. This is an awakening of others through our emotions

  • Pakpicha  Boon
    Pakpicha Boon 9 months ago +1

    I like to listen tedtalk a lot .

  • tobanga
    tobanga 9 months ago


  • Robson Neves
    Robson Neves 9 months ago

    Such a short Ted talk for an interesting subject! I Wish It was longer so he could explain more about it.

  • vali mojarad
    vali mojarad 9 months ago +1

    I'm looking for someone to speak English with to prepare for the IELTS exam.

  • WillWhiskey
    WillWhiskey 9 months ago

    Its almost as if we used touch before... you know with the older phones that still had physical buttons, you could write a whole message not looking at the screen.
    Same goes for radios in cars, change the channel trough touch
    And then smart phones and smart screens arrived, touch was lost i fucking hated it at first, writing messages became way slower for me and that wasnt because of my age (im 24 right now)
    And up to this day i still make lots of typos simply because i click the wrong button, because touch isnt present anymore

  • Sathya Sankar
    Sathya Sankar 9 months ago

    You look like Chris Gayle

  • Randy James
    Randy James 9 months ago

    Haptic gestures can guide you to the café. Haptic jesters will guide you into a fountain.

  • YoshiPeach Mario
    YoshiPeach Mario 9 months ago

    didn't know TED talks allowed for business pitches

  • SGS TV
    SGS TV 9 months ago


  • Multishorty50
    Multishorty50 9 months ago

    Love the idea. Though I fear stupid people spreading rumors that this will someday become some government device to control people like microchips in Sweden.

  • i sleep
    i sleep 9 months ago

    interesting. if it were based on muscle contraction instead of haptics, the potential uses for this would increase tenfold.
    you don't see many small timers take steps like these, hope they go further with it.

    FLEXCOPE INC. 9 months ago +2

    Intuitive design
    Instructive talk
    Puzzling outfit

  • John McNaught
    John McNaught 9 months ago

    I love this concept.

  • marcustya88
    marcustya88 9 months ago

    He looks like a prophet. A prophet of wearables.

  • Everyone wears a mask
    Everyone wears a mask 9 months ago +2

    I would've loved to see a demonstration.

  • Donna Pierce
    Donna Pierce 9 months ago

    I'm looking for the mutant..anyone remember the taxi driver from total recall... this guy is creepy ....the set is so fake...and his persona is being used to convince you.. oh wakey wakey....here goes the usuall sympathy plea for tech.... simpletons are so easily manipulated. ..where are the brave men and women to protect the uninitiated from deception. ...you are being manipulated to invent touch to the public....military has you bagged and tagged...STOP being emotionally PLAYED . THINK SHEEPLE

  • Shylah Grey
    Shylah Grey 9 months ago +2

    What kind of shirt is that I like it

  • Nero
    Nero 9 months ago +6

    Reminded me of "Can we create new senses for humans? | David Eagleman"

  • Dylan Ramirez
    Dylan Ramirez 9 months ago

    Promising talk and tech.. the tech isn't new and has many potential applications. It's too bad he doesn't know what he's doing nor has the vision to carry it out. /:

    • Dylan Ramirez
      Dylan Ramirez 9 months ago

      @Not Doing Much .. also he misses the point of Morse code as a universal language for touch.
      Such as stating creating a new language.
      Anyways, what were your thoughts about it?

  • Ivory
    Ivory 9 months ago

    This is incredible! 😮

  • Jatin Batra
    Jatin Batra 9 months ago

    I just saw the video of person running in the "virtual corridor" but how can that person will be able to avoid the local obstacles ?

    • Lostpockets 222
      Lostpockets 222 9 months ago

      hi Jatin 😊

    • Jatin Batra
      Jatin Batra 9 months ago

      I've also given survey at your website but I forgot to mention this thing in my Google Doc submission

    MAGNETIC RESONANCE 9 months ago

    Skip to around 3:00

    Still not the perfect answer....

  • Jatin Batra
    Jatin Batra 9 months ago +1

    So small. I was expecting more .

  • koushik karthikeyan
    koushik karthikeyan 9 months ago +1

    Chris Gayle

  • Michael Pisciarino
    Michael Pisciarino 9 months ago +6

    (1) We use our sense of touch all the time
    1:15 Motion Capture
    2:13 WayBand
    2:47 + Helped the blind
    (1) Create Cool Stuff
    (2) Do as much good as we can in a lifetime
    (3) Reinvent the world through touch
    3:48 Recognition
    4:26 Learning Languages. Linguistics based on touch
    4:57 Universal Langauge Through touch
    6:06 “ There’s a New Frontier. Touch. And it has the power to change how we all see the world 🌎 🌍 around us”

  • A Hawrami
    A Hawrami 9 months ago +1

    Well there is already a language of touch .. "braille"
    .. maybe build on it

    • A Hawrami
      A Hawrami 9 months ago +1

      @Kai Chase thank you for clarification, I was suggesting using existing resource to build bigger library of gestures

    • Kai Chase
      Kai Chase 9 months ago

      A Hawrami Brail is comparable to written word, he’s proposing an intuitive system that does not require any prior knowledge to use.

  • A Hawrami
    A Hawrami 9 months ago

    Excellent idea with so much potential ... apple watch developers pay attention

    • A Hawrami
      A Hawrami 9 months ago

      @Kai Chase I am sure they will...

    • Kai Chase
      Kai Chase 9 months ago

      A Hawrami oh i’m sure these corporate tech companies are already devising a scheme to corrupt this ingenious technology for maximum profit.

    ALBERT EINSTEIN 9 months ago +3

    Don’t listen to him, don’t touch kids!

  • OPIE
    OPIE 9 months ago +3

    Didn’t know Heimdall did ted conferences

  • Event Hʘriךּon
    Event Hʘriךּon 9 months ago +1

    wakanda foreva yus

  • Caio Cesar P. Aguiar
    Caio Cesar P. Aguiar 9 months ago +24

    A paradigm shifting idea able to connect us to the world in a new sensorial level, and all of it started with one guy dreaming to build a cloth that teaches kung fu.

  • Clément Jo Mathew
    Clément Jo Mathew 9 months ago +5

    His accent is so good!!

  • John T
    John T 9 months ago +5

    New haptic navigational device 😀 requires empathy 😔

  • Frederico Flósculo
    Frederico Flósculo 9 months ago +1


  • Josue Juarez
    Josue Juarez 9 months ago

    this is like the new profets

  • In Christ Alone -Reebuzz
    In Christ Alone -Reebuzz 9 months ago +1


  • Sicknasty
    Sicknasty 9 months ago

    I'm going to calculate how much balloons it takes to lift up a average male

    **helium** **density** 0.179 g/L at **STP**

    11 inches = 27,94cm = 2.794dm

    assuming the helium balloon is perfectly spherical, we get a volume per balloon of
    4/3 x pi x (1.397dm)\^3 = 11.4202986396 dm\^3 or roughly 11.42 litres.

    Assuming the balloon is made out of aluminium foil with a thickness of 0.006mm, we can calculate the weight of the balloon without any air (ignoring buoyance) by multiplying the surface area of the balloon with the thickness of aluminium and dividing by density.

    4 x pi x r\^2
    where the radius is 139,7mm, we get:

    4 x pi x 139.7\^2 = 245246 mm\^2

    Multiplying this with the thickness of the aluminium foil and then by its density, we get:
    245246 mm\^2 x 0.006mm x 2.7 g/cm³ = 3.97 grams per ball.

    Multiplying the mass per ball by gravitational acceleration, we get a downward force that we must take into account when calculating the amount of balloons needed for a human person.

    0.0039729852 x 9.807m/s\^2 = 0.040 Newtons per ball

    The purity of helium used for helium balloons is 95% with the rest being air.
    Using the known densities of air and helium, we get an equation:
    Density of air: 1.29 grams **per liter**
    Density of helium: 0.179 grams **per liter**

    **Density of balloon's helium-air mixture:** 0.179 x 0.95 + 1.29 x 0.05 = **0.23455 g/L**

    Using the density of helium in the ball we get a weight of gas per ball by multiplying the density by the volume per ball:
    **0.23455 g/L** x 11.42 dm\^3 = 2.68 grams.

    This gives a total mass-per-ball of 2.68g + 3.97 = 6.65g

    To calculate the buoyant force of each balloon, we must calculate the weight of air displaced by each balloon and calculate thence the force exerted upon the balloon:

    Density of air: 1.29 grams **per liter**
    Volume of balloon: 11.42 litres

    Mass of displaced air: 1.29g/L x 11.42L = 14.7 grams
    This gives a total force-per-balloon of 0.1444747626 N, of which we subtract 0.040N for approximately 0.140N per ball.

    Assuming that a human male weigh approximately 88.8kg (US male weight, Wikipedia) or 871N, we can divide this number with a force per ball to gain a result:
    **871N/0.140N = 6198.3, or at least 6199 balls.**

    Assuming that every ball arrange on the curve of a sphere above the person, and that each ball only take 195.2cm\^2 of said surface, we arrive at an equation:
    4 x pi x r\^2 > 2 x 6199 x 195.2cm\^2
    where the radius r is calculated to be 621cm.

    Assuming every piece of string attached to each of the balloons be 621 centimetres long to guarantee that they all fit above the person being lifted, and that the string be a 4mm diameter loose braided line made from *polypropylene* with a density of 0.91g/cm\^3, ignoring buoyancy, we calculate the weight of the string in total.
    (0.2cm)\^2 x pi x 621cm x 6199 = 483.7L of string
    This much string has a buoyant force of
    483.7L x 1.29g/L x g = 6.12N

    The total weight of the string is then 483700cm\^3 x 0.91g/cm\^3 = 440.167kg = 4318.0N.

    This would require 4318.0N/871N x 6183.3 = 30729 more balloons for a total of 36927 balloons.

    **This cycle** will continue infinitely, as the weight of string tying balloons to the liftable man will **ALWAYS** overcome the force of lift required to keep any balloon, let alone the man, afloat. Therefore, it is impossible to lift a man with every balloon attached to the man with an equilength string.

    If we arrange the balloons smartly in a line directly above the person with the balloons being tyed half of their radius apart in bundles of two, we only require string the length of:
    1/2 x 6199 x 27.94cm = 86600.03 cm
    This gives an extra weight per balloon of 1.57992318 grams.
    We subtract this weight from the lifting capacity of a balloon, and redo a previous calculation to get:
    0.140N - 0.001580 x 9.807m/s\^2 = 0.12450494N of force per balloon.
    **871N/0.1245N = 6995.98, or at least**
    # 6996 commercial helium-balloons of 11 inches in diameter to lift an average American male.

  • Srinidhi ಶ್ರೀ
    Srinidhi ಶ್ರೀ 9 months ago +2

    ಮಾತಿನಲ್ಲಿ ದೇಹಭಾಷೆಯು ತುಂಬಾ ಮುಖ್ಯವಾದದ್ದು
    *Love this video................❤️💝*

  • Pewd's Salamander
    Pewd's Salamander 9 months ago

    touch my pp ted

  • O'SSÉIN - Master Your Mind With Me

    *Body language has to be mastered to get the best out of life.*

  • madunisha surendranathan
    madunisha surendranathan 9 months ago +1


  • Ali jan gillani
    Ali jan gillani 9 months ago


  • Ali jan gillani
    Ali jan gillani 9 months ago +1

    First comment

  • d4n_th3_m4n
    d4n_th3_m4n 9 months ago


  • HQ
    HQ 9 months ago

    나보다 영어 잘해도 깜둥이는 안본다

  • Mortal GamerZ
    Mortal GamerZ 9 months ago

    First!! Great vid though...

  • Me Ocean
    Me Ocean 9 months ago