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Input Devices Microsoft Hardware Games

Microsoft's Hand-Gesture Sensor Bracelet 86

Posted by Soulskill
from the can-you-build-in-a-laser-pistol dept.
another random user tips this quote from the BBC: "A wrist-worn sensor that creates 3D-models of the user's hand movements in real-time has been built by Microsoft. The Digits prototype is part of an effort to create a mobile device that would allow its owner to control a range of equipment using hand gestures. The firm said it could be used as a virtual TV control, a way to operate a smartphone while it is in the user's pocket, and to play video games. It is designed to be less cumbersome and uncomfortable than sensor gloves. However, some experts question whether consumers would want to wear such a device during their day-to-day activities." ACM has the research paper (PDF) describing this device and its use.
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Microsoft's Hand-Gesture Sensor Bracelet

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  • Some Experts Suck. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by localman57 (1340533) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @02:16PM (#41599611)

    However, some experts question whether consumers would want to wear such a device during their day-to-day activities.

    If you showed those same "experts" the bulky brick style cell phones lots of people carried in the mid-90's, they'd probably also question whether anyone would bother to lug such a thing around, while doing their day-to-day activities. Especially since all they did was take phone calls. But hey, if you can't make something cool, piss on what somebody else is doing, right?

    • Can't be any worse then those hideous looking Google goggles...
    • by Dan East (318230)

      Exactly. I never imaged so many people would walk around with a bluetooth earpiece sticking out the side of their head (especially people who, for all obvious appearances, have absolutely no reason to be grocery shopping like that). A bracelet is much less imposing and restrictive, so it would be adopted even more than an earpiece (at least you can actually hear your environment with both ears like a normal human being).

  • by iplayfast (166447) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @02:16PM (#41599613)

    A Ring would be so much better. One ring to rule all my appliances,

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Agree. Who wants to wave their arm around when they can just wag a finger?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, the thing needs to read one gesture with one finger anyway...

      • by iplayfast (166447)

        I see, hadn't thought about which finger to put the ring on, but you've made it so clear.

        So I says to the guy
        "Hey, turn that music up!" ... That's when I lost it!!!

        • So I says to the guy
          "Hey, turn that music up!" ... That's when I lost it!!!

          And ever since I've been The Champ...

          Kudos

          • by iplayfast (166447)

            I wasn't sure anyone would get the reference. You must live in southern Ontario or perhaps Michigan.

  • Tools (Score:5, Funny)

    by Frag-A-Muffin (5490) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @02:19PM (#41599641) Homepage

    Like people who do the bluetooth headset thing while walking down the street don't look like tools as it is. Let's just throw in hand gestures for good measure! Yay society!

    P.S. How on earth are we going to separate the crazies from people who are just on the phone now?!! :)

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      P.S. How on earth are we going to separate the crazies from people who are just on the phone now?!! :)

      Are they mutually exclusive?

      You can be crazy and on the phone too.

      Hell, if the crazies ever figure out to put a fake bluetooth headset on (a real one would actually allow them to control your mind ;-), then nobody will notice them any more until they do something really special.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by CdBee (742846)
        I think thats already happened judging from some of the stuff I overhear.

        "Yeah? Well we've got triangular bees" - from a passing guy with a phone headset, never did get to the bottom of that one...
    • Like people who do the bluetooth headset thing while walking down the street don't look like tools as it is. Let's just throw in hand gestures for good measure! Yay society!

      The really, really, really sad thing is that you already see people doing this while they're on a normal cell phone. And some of them are driving.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        The really, really, really sad thing is that you already see people doing this while they're on a normal cell phone.

        LOL, for some of us, the hand moving is part of talking.

        I work from home, and on conference calls, I pace around and gesture as I'm speaking -- I simply couldn't not do it.

        Though, admittedly, I don't preclude the possibility that I'm also crazy. ;-)

        • The really, really, really sad thing is that you already see people doing this while they're on a normal cell phone.

          LOL, for some of us, the hand moving is part of talking.

          I work from home, and on conference calls, I pace around and gesture as I'm speaking -- I simply couldn't not do it.

          Though, admittedly, I don't preclude the possibility that I'm also crazy. ;-)

          Hahahaha .. dude .. I just thought of something funny. :) For people who DO like to talk with their hands (I do sometimes myself!) how do you know you're not going to inadvertently start a porn vid on your phone or something while on the phone with your boss! HAHAHAHA.

          P.S. @localman57: The worst I've seen while driving, dude next to me was making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich while on the highway going 120km/h!! I mean, full on jars of PB and J, knifing it out and spreading it on bread! I really wish I

    • ...Exactly. People talking too loud on their phones may be annoying, but at least none of them have tried to poke my eye out (at least, not since they got rid of the phones with the little antennas...).
    • by mug funky (910186)

      as if talking to yourself and wildly gesturing were a good predictor of crazy. ever been to Italy?

    • by trdrstv (986999)

      Like people who do the bluetooth headset thing while walking down the street don't look like tools as it is. Let's just throw in hand gestures for good measure! Yay society!

      I have an Italian Friend who does this all the time anyway, he simply can't talk without gesturing so slapping a bracelet on his wrist would only make him "look less crazy" while walking down the street miming his calls over Bluetooth.

  • ... because we all know how uncumbersome a 2-inch camera is going to feel strapped onto the inside of your wrist.

    <eyeroll/>

    • by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @02:46PM (#41599977) Homepage

      ... because we all know how uncumbersome a 2-inch camera is going to feel strapped onto the inside of your wrist.

      You know, you'd probably get used to it ... and it will probably get smaller over time.

      But, as someone with a fair few wrist watches, I actually have a watch that weighs in at around 300 grams, and one or two that weigh in at around 200 grams.

      It takes surprisingly little time to go from "holy crap is this thing heavy" to not even noticing it.

      And, in this case, you can go around pointing your wrist like Spider Man going *pchew* *pchew*. At least, I would. ;-)

      • by inputdev (1252080)

        You know, you'd probably get used to it ... and it will probably get smaller over time.

        I'm sure you are right, but it seems like the distance of the camera off of the wrist is essential to get a good view of the fingers, which would limit the ability to make it flush like a watch band. I think a camera embedded where your eyes are will be the most intuitive to the user - it sees what you see, more or less, so it's easy to aim and understand why it is or isn't working well.

      • by citizenr (871508)

        it cant get smaller because it needs to see the hand = needs to stick out of your wrist

      • I'm sure I'm in the minority but years ago I stopped wearing watches because they just irritated the bejeebers outta me. It's all about the way I rest my forearms on the table I when I'm typing, the watchband would rub on the desk surface and generally get on my nerves. (I'm probably not using the "best" form in typing, but 20 years in and no carpal tunnel yet.) I kinda wish it didn't but it does. Plus these days, with computers around and cell phones, I always know the time anyway.
        So this thing probabl
  • That "bracelet" is definitely going to get in the way, although it may help cure my carpel tunnel.
  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @02:27PM (#41599723)

    Oh, c'mon. You thought it too.

  • Take a close look at the 2 images. The CGI doesn't match the finger position.

    Marketing fail

    • by Baloroth (2370816) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @02:38PM (#41599859)

      Take a close look at the 2 images. The CGI doesn't match the finger position.

      And it doesn't have to, either. It's actually probably better that it doesn't: you want the matches to be close enough to the correct gesture, rather than the exact gesture itself, as exact matching would create endless frustration for the user. Rough matching, OTOH, if done decently well, is vastly easier to use. That's why speech recognition is so hard for computers: because humans don't pronounce the same word the exact same way every time (well, that and some words sound identical).

      • by citizenr (871508)

        And it doesn't have to, either. It's actually probably better that it doesn't: you want the matches to be close enough to the correct gesture, rather than the exact gesture itself, as exact matching would create endless frustration for the user

        Yes, I just love when UI interpolates and guesses what I want instead of letting me point where I really want to.

  • I just took it to the next level.
  • ....the droids you're looking for.
  • UGLY...GORILLA
    UGLY...GORILLA
  • This thing is HARD CODED. Just look at pictures at
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19884218 [bbc.co.uk]
    every gesture is "recognized", but 3D model doesnt fit real hand.
    Finger movements are not recreated, there is no 3D model recreation. This is M$ so Im guessing learned NN recognizing few patterns and pretending to be magic.
    Just like Kinect games that promise movement tracking, but end up recognizing 2 hard coded gestures (or dont use cameras at all and you feel scammed for buying $200 Mass Effect micropho

  • by tilante (2547392) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @03:07PM (#41600243)

    even the "experts" apparently aren't reading TFA.

    He added that the prototype had been built using existing off-the-shelf components, but there was scope to improve the equipment with customised parts.

    "Ultimately we would like to reduce Digits to the size of a watch that can be worn all the time," he said.

    Lots of people wear watches all the time - so when they can get it down to watch size (not if, when, given the way miniaturization of computers, cameras, etc. has progressed), I don't see any reason to suppose that people would find wearing a gesture sensor to be a burden.

    And, for that matter, since the actual workings of a digital watch are tiny now, the gesture sensor could also be a watch.

    • by narcc (412956)

      Watches are about fashion more than they're about function. Not everyone walks around with a battered $10 water-resistant Timex with the band cleverly repaired with masking tape, strapped to their wrist.

      I, like many others, have different watches for different dressing occasions -- some are dressier, some are more casual.

      If I were to wear a hand-gesture sensor bracelet as I went about my regular day, I expect that I'd want a number of different bracelets, in a number of different styles.

      Knowing that I'm in

      • I use a pocket watch, you insensitive clod!

      • You're not a tiny minority among men. Most men I know also consider wristwatches to be primarily fashion accessories today.

        As GP noted, however, if it can be scaled down to fit in a watch, it might as well be a watch at some point - and there's no reason why it couldn't be externally designed as one, too.

  • Build sensor arrays where needed, no Micro$oft jewelry required...

    I just hope we get holograms soon enough to be able to use leap motion sensors with them.
  • by cheesecake23 (1110663) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @03:20PM (#41600405)

    Who would EVER want to wear some kind of useful device on their WRIST? That's just crazy talk!

  • It looks like you're masturbating. Would you like help?

  • by gmuslera (3436) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @04:24PM (#41601175) Homepage Journal

    This have the same problems than speech recognition, you say/do something that is not meant for the computer/program, and it does something that you don't mean to do. At least in Star Trek they had the "Computer" prefix in phrases meant for the computer, but adding a prefix for gestures could make their use more complex.

    And, of course, doing it in public will have the problem when people is not the intended target for the gesture/speech, and if well you could use low volume (or subvocalization?) in voice, gestures should be broad enough to be able to tell them apart from i.e. casual changes of position. And innocent gestures for one culture could be very offensive for others.

  • by PPH (736903)

    "I see you are making a gang sign inappropriate for this part of Oakland. Would you like me to calculate a quick route out of this neighborhood?"

    [Loading Apple Maps ....]

  • Why not build it into a wristwatch?

  • Leonard Nimoy should be a rich man.

    In the second episode of the original Star Trek series ("The Man Trap",1966), Spock is standing next to the main view screen on the bridge of the Enterprise and uses a hand-swipe gesture ("slicing" his hand from right to left at waist level) to change the image on the main view screen.

    This predates both Kinect-based systems and touchpad gesture systems by about 35 years.

    I wonder if any of that has been brought up in all these lawsuits brought by Nokia, Microsoft, Samsung a

  • The first thing I thought of when I saw this is the Mass Effect omni tool. Always wanted one of those.
  • User gestures middle finger, device initiates silent IP voice feed to NSA.

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