A pair of Simon Fraser University alumni have developed an innovative wristband that recognizes and understands hand gestures. The product, which is branded as TENZRTM, allows users to perform virtual actions, such as pausing a video or scrolling down the page, without the need of physically touching a computer mouse or a controller. When an individual uses the wristband, their hand in a sense becomes a controller because their hand motions emulate the haptic sensation of clicking on a computer mouse.

Lukas-Karim Merhi and Gautam Sadarangani, co-founders of BioInteractive Technologies, showcased their new product to the community last week at SFU Surrey. Merhi and Sadarangani have spent the last three years developing the gesture recognizable wristband, TENZRTM, and the product is currently gaining traction in the virtual reality and augmented reality world.

The wristband is currently designed to recognize six hand gestures: up, down, left, right, hand open, and hand close. In addition, the wristband does not need a camera to operate — it uses Bluetooth technology instead to transmit and receive signals.

“Its algorithms can predict and detect [finger movements and hand gestures] by using machine learning algorithms. The sensing technique does not measure electrical signals therefore it is accurate and reliable,” according to its website.

The wristband is currently sold for CAD$199 and its battery life lasts approximately 12 hours. The device also has the possibility of being used in health-care settings. For example, physicians are trying to determine the wristband’s potential in helping stroke survivors who suffered a motor deficit in their upper extremities. The wristband could potentially help these patients restore their hand movement, as stated on its website.

In fact, the innovative wristband can also be used to monitor the way berries and grapes are picked via haptic feedback. Users can customize their wristband for different applications, from recording motor movements to movement rehabilitation, with the latter still being explored.

Moreover, Merhi and Sadarangani’s company was shortlisted as one of the 10 companies accepted into the highly competitive Techstars Anywhere program, according to a media advisory by the university.

The program has an acceptance rate of less than 1% and applications were received from all over the world, according to its website. Companies who are accepted into Techstars Anywhere program receive mentorship from one of the US’s top tech accelerators, Techstars. This allows them to gain expert feedback so that they can start selling their product on the market.

The Peak reached out to Merhi and Sadarangani but did not receive a response by our print deadline. However, the duo will be competing in the upcoming Coast Capital Savings Venture Prize for their new prototype.


With files from PR Newswire.