Microsoft Research looks for technology more accurate than Kinect, comes up with this wrist-worn gloveless sensor

A Microsoft Research team has shared the work it’s been doing on a wrist-worn 3D hand tracker called Digits. The device straps to the wrist and uses infrared technology to track hand movements in real-time. Project leader David Kim told NewScientist that Digits was ‘born of the desire for a technology more accurate than the company’s Xbox Kinect gaming sensor’.

This video shows Digits in action and how it could be applied as a practical gaming interface:

In addition to the vastly improved accuracy of being able to track individual finger movements, because Digits doesn’t rely on an external sensor users wearing the device wouldn’t be constrained to a rigidly defined space.

Digits is currently nothing more than an internal Microsoft Research project, so it’s understandable the device looks ugly and impractical in terms of its design. However, the ultimate aim would be to make it as discrete as wearing a watch.

A key focus for Microsoft Research is human-computer interaction which, according to its website, ‘helps the company achieve its long-term vision of creating intuitive interfaces that not only revolutionize interactions between humans and computers, but that also empower people from of all walks of life’.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Digits, head to Microsoft Research.


  • NullG7 - October 12, 2012 7:21 a.m.

    That statement is BS... Lets face it they are bored, at least they are being productive about it
  • Sjoeki - October 10, 2012 11:52 a.m.

    It is still a work in progress but wouldn't you need at least 4 of those bracelets for it to work? One on each of your legs for movement and one for each arm for actions? And it's great for people that like the Wii, Kinect and Move but I'm thinking that most gamers still want the controller/couch combination.
  • shawksta - October 10, 2012 8:31 a.m.

    Hmm......interesting? More accurate than Kinect? Sorry Microsoft but you can't expect to throw away Kinect, you have to make some use of it, it's 2012, you can't just ignore it like it was the virtual boy, your costs are fatal, but whatever floats your boat. It's just, you can't even make good use for Kinect otherwise from Kinect Sports.
  • Japanaman - October 10, 2012 7:07 a.m.

    I can't wait for My Sign Language Coach to be released.
  • cruddy25 - October 10, 2012 5 a.m.

    This + Bioshock could quite possibly be the best thing ever. Except for the fact that I'll start clicking my fingers at everyone who annoys me, in hope of lighting them on fire.
  • brickman409 - October 10, 2012 7:42 p.m.

    that would be awesome! imagine pretending to stab your wrist everytime you wanted to refill your plasmids haha
  • radiodeaf - October 10, 2012 4:54 a.m.

    bulky, and doubtful it can get too much smaller due to how the lens has to see your hand..... and useless since you could probably wear and QR tag instead which identifies you then a camera like the Kenect would track... and since it's cheaper to have one system tracking instead of building many individual ones, what would be the point of going this far with a wrist device? portability being nice and all, but so are our phones already. too many flaws to overcome to be worth it... including the damn gestures no doubt being completely annoying. Also, as a demo, I didn't expect greatness... but no 1to1 isn't going to sell this thing faster.
  • leonel19888 - October 10, 2012 8:34 a.m.

    Finally finally someone who actually touch that point about having something on your body that the stupid kinect can track i wouldnt be bothered at all to have several little grey marbles sticked to my body if the game inmersion gets an inprovement the worse part is that have existed for years !!! i still dont get the late apply of this tech into gaming.
  • Mooshon - October 10, 2012 4:24 a.m.

    That's very cool. Just need some force feedback tech, add the oculus rift and we're into Wild Palms territory.
  • JarkayColt - October 10, 2012 3:35 a.m.

    My first and only thought: how long's it gonna be before a Spiderman game using this comes out? GO WEB GO!

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