How Microsoft plans to use hand gesture as PC input

How Microsoft plans to use hand gesture as PC input

Wondering how Microsoft plans to use hand gesture as PC input? Microsoft research wants to move beyond the keyboard and mouse to power the interfaces of the future. They have made some noteworthy progress with hand tracking.

A team of researchers is working on software. This will allow virtual environments to track and recognize detailed hand motion.

“We can make the vision, speech, and gesture more reliable. Then people designing things like TVs, or any of the Internet of Things gadgets will have a range of interaction possibilities.” Said Andrew Fitzgibbon, a principal researcher with the computer vision group at the UK lab.

The team working on hand tracking in Microsoft’s UK lab includes Tom Cashman (top left, standing), Andrew Fitzgibbon, Lucas Bordeaux, John Bronskill, (bottom row) David Sweeney, Jamie Shotton, Federica Bogo. Photo by Jonathan Banks.
The team working on hand tracking in Microsoft’s UK lab. It includes Tom Cashman (top left, standing), Andrew Fitzgibbon, Lucas Bordeaux, John Bronskill, (bottom row) David Sweeney, Jamie Shotton, Federica Bogo. Photo by Jonathan Banks.

People working on projects believe they can achieve this. They are on the point of making hand and gesture recognition tools practical enough for mainstream use, much as many people now use speech recognition to dictate texts. Or computer vision to recognize faces in photos.

To achieve that vision, technology must track accurate hand motion, using as little computing power as possible. People can then use their natural hand movement and respond to consumer products.

“We’re getting to the point that the accuracy is such that the user can start to feel like the avatar hand is their real hand,” Shotton said.

The research project called Project Prague. The goal is to provide developers with basic hand gestures, such as the one that switches a computer off. Also easier for developers to create customized gestures for their own apps or other products, with little more programming or expertise.

Adi Diamant, who directs the Advanced Technologies Lab have something to say. “When people think about hand and gesture recognition, they often think about how to use it. Especially for gaming or entertainment.

Also, there is some potential for using gesture for everyday work tasks. Like designing and giving presentations, flipping through spreadsheets, editing e-mails and browsing the web.

Although, Microsoft’s hand tracking and gestures are just research projects right now. But that doesn’t mean they won’t ever make it into reality in the future. Probably soon.