A research team working at Microsoft has unveiled a bracelet that is able to capture its bearer’s hand gestures precisely in real time in order to control TVs, computers, smartphones and games.
The device, called “Digits,” uses a ring of LEDs to illuminate the hand and allow its infrared sensors to scan it precisely.
The current prototype is a bit bulky as it was developed using off-the-shelf components. However, the team intends to shrink it considerably as it enters commercial production stage. “Ultimately we would like to reduce Digits to the size of a watch that can be worn all the time,” explained project leader David Kim. “We want users to be able to interact spontaneously with their electronic devices using simple gestures and not even have to reach for their devices.”
A key advantage of Digits is that it is attached only to the user’s wrist, and so it doesn’t confine its user to a fixed place. This means that Digits users will be able to use it to interact with their tucked-in smartphones while going about their everyday activities. They can also use it to control different devices when they come within their ranges. For example, a user might use Digits to control his PC while in his bedroom and switch it to control the TV when he enters the dining room.