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Microsoft devises new way to control devices with wrist movements

microsoft wrist
microsoft wrist

With the success of Kinect, Microsoft have come up with the next way of interacting with our gadgets.Scientists have developed a device, worn on the wrist, which allows the wearer to control any electronic device with a flick of the wrist.

Researchers at Newcastle University and Microsoft Research Cambridge (MSR) created the sensor ‘Digits’ which tracks movements of the hand and allows the user to remotely control any device.

The gadget uses a tiny camera to track movements of the hand and can recognise individual gestures, which it turns into commands – such as a thumbs up to answer the phone.

Mapping finger movement and orientation, the device gives the user remote control anywhere and at anytime.

“The Digits sensor doesn’t rely on any external infrastructure so it is completely mobile,” said David Kim, a researcher from Newcastle University.

“This means users are not bound to a fixed space. They can interact while moving from room to room or even running down the street. What Digits does is finally take 3D interaction outside the living room,” he said.

“We needed a system that enabled natural 3D interactions with bare hands, but with as much flexibility and accuracy as data gloves. We wanted users to be able to interact spontaneously with their electronic devices using simple gestures without even having to reach for them.”

“Can you imagine how much easier it would be if you could answer your mobile phone while it’s still in your pocket or buried at the bottom of your bag?” Kim added.

The team said that  the current device was still away from being ready for market. It needs to be joined to a computer to carry out the necessary computations, making it impractical in the real world. The sensor also has difficulties if two fingers are crossed, the hand is flattened or if the user is holding something while making the gestures. The makers suggested all these problems could be overcome with further work.