Microsoft demos Digits wrist-mounted gesture sensor at UIST

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Microsoft Research has been taking the idea behind the company’s Kinect motion sensor further and further and the latest of these efforts is being shown off at UIST, the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology being held at Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Digits project, as it is known, uses a wrist-mounted array of LEDs which transmit infrared light that is able to track the positions and movements of a user’s hand without needing to keep that user in a confined space. A laser light is shone on the hand to track its orientation and a camera captures the resulting data, creating a moving 3D model of the hand that is accurate to one hundredth of a centimetre.

The technology is all well and good but what about implementation? Like the Leap device Digits is looking at several functions, one of them being combining the tool with new and current tech. Google’s Glasses project would be a logical fit for hand-based gesture controls but a smartphone and indeed almost any other portable device could make use of it in one way or another. The Digits sensor promises to shrink in size from the relatively bulky prototype, perhaps breaking ground as the prime peripheral and control method for a proper wearable computer in future.

New Scientist has posted a video of the Digits peripheral in action (below).

Source/Image: Microsoft Research

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