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Microsoft unveils a motion sensor you wear on your wrist

Digits lets you control a gadget by waving your hand
Tue Oct 09 2012, 15:22
Microsoft wrist sensor

SOFTWARE HOUSE Microsoft along with researchers at Newcastle University have developed a motion sensor that you wear on your wrist, enabling remote control of any device with just the wave of a hand.

The device is called "Digits" and uses infrared technology and a tiny camera to map 3D finger movement, which it translates into commands. For example, moving your hand through the air while wearing the device could see you zoom in and out of a tablet, while a fist-clench could signal an in-game interaction.

"The Digits sensor doesn't rely on external infrastructure," said Newcastle University doctoral student David Kim, "which means users are not bound to a fixed space".

"They can interact while moving from room to room or running down the street. This finally takes 3D interaction outside the living room."

While this all sounds pretty cool, the device is still rather bulky - not something you'd fancy carrying around on your wrist all day. However, Kim added that the researchers are hoping to get the device down to the size of a watch.

"These components enable us to quickly test and verify different ideas, configurations, and form factors without having to worry about the engineering side," Kim said.

"We need this kind of flexibility to fail and improve early and to quickly iterate the design. Ultimately, we would like to reduce Digits to the size of a watch that can be worn all the time. 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." µ

 

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