Microsoft’s Kinect is a great piece motion sensor technology, but it has its limitations: You need to stand in front of it, and be several feet away from the sensor for it to work. Fortunately, developments like the Digits bracelet could be the next step forward to combat this.
The bracelet, developed by researchers at Microsoft, Newcastle University’s Culture Lab, and the Greek Foundation for Research & Technology, is a gloveless sensor that tracks your hand's movement and creates a virtual 3D model of it. When you move your hand and fingers around, the sensor will track it and make the 3D model mimic its movement. The researchers say this technology is ideal for gaming or other uses that require motion control.
Since you wear this motion tracker, you don't have to stand in front of something in order for your motions to be picked up: You can move into different rooms, or even go outside.
The bracelet is made from off-the-shelf components, like an infrared (IR) camera, IR laser line generator, IR diffuse illuminator, and an inertial-measurement unit (IMU).
Digits is a part of a Microsoft Research project to create “intuitive interfaces” for better interaction between humans and computers. The prototype is still a little bulky, but the researchers aim to make it as small as a watch. Once this happens, the team believes it will encourage people to use motion-sensor tech in everyday life, and it could even replace the need for controllers and keyboards completely.
It’ll probably be a while before you spot something like this on shelves, but I can't wait to see how this technology develops.
This story, "This bracelet tracks your hand movements, makes you a game controller " was originally published by TechHive.