Microsoft Handpose tracks hand movement in supreme detail

Motion tracking is something that a bunch of gaming companies have been working on for years. Microsoft is already doing this to some extent with Kinect and the Xbox game console. Researchers at Microsoft have now developed a new system called Handpose that can track hand movements so accurately and in such detail, the system is capable of translating sign language into spoken word.

Microsoft says that the Handpose system has the potential to benefit everyone from law enforcement directing robots into danger using just their hands to office workers who want to read emails with hand motions rather than key presses. The Handpose system uses a camera to track a person's hand movements and it is different from other hand tracking tech.

The new system is designed to accommodate setups that are more flexible and is able to work even if the person is moving around the room. The system can use a basic Kinect setup like the one on Xbox One consoles. However, the Handpose system is tweaked to recognize the smaller and more subtle movements of the hands.

By comparison, the Kinect system is designed to watch for entire body movements. Tracking just the hand is much more difficult than tracking the body because the hands and fingers are much more flexible and articulated than the entire body. To read the hand movements researchers used a combination of machine learning and 3D hand modeling.

SOURCE: Microsoft