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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab).