Over the last few years, there has been a significant uptick in the number of products for tracking hand motion for controlling video games and computers. Almost all the technology we've seen for motion tracking so far has relied on external devices that are placed away from the user, such as the Microsoft Kinect. Researchers from Microsoft, Newcastle University's Culture Lab, and the Greek Foundation for Research & Technology have teamed up to create a device that's able to accurately track hand motions while being worn on the wrist.
A wrist-worn device is interesting because it eliminates the need to be able to place an external sensor at a distance far enough from the user to be able to accurately track hand and body movements. For instance, the Kinect sensor needs a relatively large room for accurate tracking. The wrist-worn device that the researchers created attaches to the user's wrist like a bracelet.
The device has a number of components, including an array of infrared sensors and more directly attached to the user's wrist. The sensor is able to track precise hand motions. As the demonstration video below shows, the device allows users to move their hand through the air to control a computer or other system with precision.
The researchers say that their ultimate goal is to be able to reduce the systems size down to that of a wristwatch. The researchers hope when the device is sized like a watch, users will be able to wear it at all times allowing them to interact with computers and other systems without having to reach for controllers or keyboards. There's no indication at this time of when this technology might come to market.