Researchers atNewcastle University (Newcastle, UK) and Microsoft Research Cambridge (MSR; Cambridge, UK) have developed a sensor which tracks the 3-D movement of the hand, allowing a user to remotely control any device.
The so-called "Digits" prototype includes an infrared camera, IR laser line generator, IR diffuse illuminator, and an inertial-measurement unit (IMU).
Self-contained on the user's wrist, the Digits system optically images the entirety of the user's hand, obviating the need to wear "data gloves" -- input devices that are used in virtual-reality applications to facilitate tactile sensing and fine-motion control.
At the moment, the Digits prototype is built entirely from off-the-shelf hardware and is rather bulky, but ultimately, the researchers would like to reduce it to the size of a watch that can be worn all the time.
The system was presented this week at the 25th Association for Computing Machinery Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (Cambridge, MA, USA).
Details of the system can be found on the Microsoft Research web site here and on the Newcastle University web site here. A video of the system in action can be found on YouTube here.
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