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Until now, 3D navigation has been possible only through the use of bulky motion-detecting hardware. Microsoft now intends to change this with 'Digits.'

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Motion sensors are nothing new and have been around for quite some time. In fact, they are very active and successful commercially too, thanks to Microsoft’s move of coupling the Kinect motion sensor with its game console. However, most of these motion sensors rely on rather heavy hardware and haven’t been much effective for 3D virtual navigation. Microsoft has now come up with an apt solution for this.


Digits prototype

The company’s Research section has dished out a new solution that utilizes a wearable gear which is light and fairly accurate. The prototype is being touted with the name ‘Digits’ and it basically comprises of a camera, an infrared laser and a diffuser.

This equipment goes into the making of the Digits which can then be worn on the hand of the subject. Digits is then able to detect the motion of the wearer’s hands, including the overall movement of the hand as well as that of the individual fingers.

This motion-detection can then be put to use by helping a user navigate a computer interface simply by making different gestures with his hands. Digits can be used to make pinch-to-zoom gestures as well as control many other aspects of the UI simply through the free use of the hands.

It is rather impressive that by making use of such nifty and light hardware, Microsoft researchers have been able to accomplish 3D virtual navigation.

The company will showcase the solution at the 25th ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, an event which is taking place at the time I’m writing this piece. Let’s hope that rather than being confined to research labs, Digits makes it out to the commercial arena soon, enabling users to accomplish smoother and easier UI navigation.

You can watch the Digits prototype in action in the video below.

Source: Microsoft Research
Courtesy: The Verge

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  On October 9, 2012(1 year, 6 months ago.)

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