Television remotes and video game controllers could soon be a thing of the past! Scientists have developed a sensor, worn on the wrist like a watch, which allows the wearer to control any electronic device with a simple flick of the wrist.
Researchers at Newcastle University and Microsoft Research Cambridge (MSR) created the sensor ‘Digits’ which tracks the 3-D movement of the hand and allows the user to remotely control any device. The gadget uses a minute camera to track hand movements and can recognise specific gestures, which it translates 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,” Researcher David Kim, from Newcastle University, said.
“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 in a statement. “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. Researcher said because the device does not rely on fixed external sensors, such as those found on games consoles, it can be used outside the home. And, as it connects wirelessly with other electronic equipment, users can control items such as mobile phones without holding them – even if they are in a bag or another room.
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