Gestural hand-tracking interface being developed by MIT researchers (w/ video)

Sep 14, 2010 by John Messina weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers at MIT have developed software that can track a Lycra fabric glove with a special color pattern. Using only a cheap web camera equipped with a wide angle lens, the software can track hand gestures.

Wang and MIT associate professor Jovan Popavic have developed gesture-recognition algorithms that are more efficient by reducing gestures to 40 by 40 pixels. Unique patterns are then generated from the layout of the Lycra glove with specially placed color splotches.

The colors are printed on a Lycra fabric glove that contains no sensors. The unique color pattern is designed to help robust tracking of the hand.

The tracking system detects 3D orientation and 3D position of the hands and finger configuration. The system is currently being tested privately but would be available for more widespread use in a few months, according to Wang.

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Video demonstrates real-time hand tracking with a color glove. Credit: MIT

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System can also be used as an input device for desktop virtual reality. Credit: MIT

Gesture tracking gloves have been around since 1987, however the high cost has prevented this technology from becoming popular. VPL Data glove was introduced in 1987 and used fiber-optic sensors for tracking finger movements. A pair of these ranges from about $1,300 all the way up to $40,000 for a high end system with force feedback. The high costs have limited the hand-gesture tracking to high-end applications in the computer animation, engineering and science.

Wang also stated that the gesture tracking system isn’t up to the same accuracy as a mouse or however it could enhance gaming systems, such as Microsoft Kinect, to support . Gaming is only the beginning and we can expect gesture-driven computing to thrive in the long run.

Explore further: Prototype display uses eyeglass prescription to allow for viewing devices without glasses

More information: Real-time Hand-tracking
Via: Computing Now

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User comments : 5

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patnclaire
3 / 5 (2) Sep 14, 2010
Like the movies Disclosure (1994) and Minority Report (2002), and most recently District 9. Life imitates art. Who said that? ;-}
podizzle
5 / 5 (1) Sep 14, 2010
i hope they dont have to be rainbow colored at release
nada
5 / 5 (1) Sep 15, 2010
Its a dead-horse already.

People want to do things in a smaller space with smaller devices. The trend is also for portability. This idea goes against both those fundamentals.
Jimbaloid
5 / 5 (1) Sep 15, 2010
Just as with 3D with glasses, I think there are a good number of people who dislike the need to wear things to assist the technology. They just want to walk up, then interact or experience immediately and 'naturally'. I'd include myself in that group.

I also know people who, like podizzle, who would not want to be seen wearing rainbow gloves whatever the benefits!
LivaN
not rated yet Sep 16, 2010
Its a dead-horse already.

People want to do things in a smaller space with smaller devices. The trend is also for portability. This idea goes against both those fundamentals.


What's more portabile than a pair of gloves? I'd take them over a keyboard and mouse anyday. Besides, as technology advances there will surely be a day when no gloves are needed.