Microsoft Research demos Digits: a wrist device that senses finger movement

"Is practical beyond computer gaming."

A Microsoft Research team has invented a wrist device that senses hand and finger movements using infrafred lasers and cameras.

It's called Digits and it's described as "freehand 3D computer interaction without gloves".

"Digits, a wrist-worn gloveless sensor developed by Microsoft Research in Cambridge, UK, enables 3D computer interaction in any environment and is practical beyond computer gaming," the short blurb on the Microsoft Research website reads.

Digits fixes around the wrist like a watch or a bracelet, cameras on the underside. A demonstration video showed a man controlling a fighting game with finger gestures, a bit like holding an invisible pad. His hand was draped over the sofa: no line of sight with the screen was needed.

The device seemed to be very responsive.

Line of sight could be needed were the device to link with Kinect. The inventors told the New Scientist (via Engadget) that the device was born from trying to find technology more accurate than Kinect.

This piece of wearable computing is big and clunky at the moment. Project leader David Kim wants the final device to be the size of a wristwatch and wireless - currently it's tethered to a laptop.

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Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.


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