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‘Invention’ Wasn’t

Lights, Camera, Engineering 

Thomas Grose’s article “Hand Signals” (First Look, Nov. Prism, Page 17), gives the impression that QuadSquad, on its very own, “invented” a new device to aid the speech- and hearing-impaired. While the “invention” does extend previous state of the art, the original concept for a glove interface was developed by Dr. Gary J. Grimes. A simple patent search reveals that U.S. Patent 4414537, titled “Digital Data Entry Glove Interface Device,” was filed on 15 September 1981 and issued on 8 November 1983 to Dr. Grimes. Dr. Grimes’s glove specifically addresses the issue described in the article… with technology available at the time. Prism would do well to set the record straight on this matter.

Footnote: I wonder how the six engineering ethics programs cited on Page 38 (“Grave New World”) would address this issue as a case study.


David A. Conner

Professor Emeritus and Chair Emeritus
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Alabama at Birmingham

 


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