I usually carry a book around with me at all times. But sometimes I'll forget it-which usually signals a ridiculously long waiting time in the doctor's office or at the local garage. Sometimes I'm lucky enough to have a friend with me (though my friend doesn't necessarily feel that lucky). The wait then becomes an endless struggle to stay entertained. Conversation slowly ebbs. The magazines are from 1975. The muzak station is mind numbing, to the point where the insane mellow string-section adaptation of the latest Metallica song has both you and your friend contemplating suicide. And so, in a last ditch effort to save your lives (not for yourselves, but for your loved ones) eventually the inevitable happens: "Rock-Paper-Scissors."
But what if you have no friend to pass the time with you? Apparently something like that happened to Steve Hoefer, inventor of the Rock-Paper-Scissors Glove.
Based on the 19th Century Japanese game of Jan-ken-pon (which in turn was based on a melding of two 17th Century games-one from China, the other from Japan), Rock-Paper-Scissors has several permutations throughout the world.
This is just the first time it's come in glove form.
But this isn't just any ol' glove. It remembers how the wearer plays and develops strategies (if you can have strategies in such a game) with an adaptive learning algorithm. It is apparently very competitive.
Hoefer reckoned that for something to play Rock-Paper-Scissors, it would have to register when the wearer is shaking his/her fist, decipher what pose the hand is in, and not only choose a competing hand, but also do this at the same time as the wearer.
And all of this had to fit in the wearer's pocket.
This video breaks down the glove's workings in a nutshell:
As I mentioned before, the Rock-Paper-Scissors Glove becomes very competitive. And the statistics are impressive. In best-of-five matches against its creator, the glove's record is 71 wins and 62 losses. That's kind'a scary... It makes me think that after a while this glove would figure out how to drive your car, take over your marriage, and generally do an Invasion of the Body Snatchers kind'a thing.
For a more detailed look at the gloves, including a parts list, building instructions, circuit diagrams(!), and comments on the "good" and the "bad" aspects of the glove's operation, head on over to Grathio Labs.