Video - Multicoloured MITs make cheap gestures

AUTHOR: Inavate

MIT researchers have developed a system that could make gestural interfaces much more practical than the current crop of solutions. Aside from a standard webcam, like those found in many new computers, the system uses only a single piece of hardware: a multicoloured Lycra glove that could be manufactured for about a dollar.

Other prototypes of low-cost gestural interfaces have used reflective or coloured tape attached to the fingertips, but “that’s 2-D information,” says Robert Wang, a graduate student in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory who developed the new system together with Jovan Popović, an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science. “You’re only getting the fingertips; you don’t even know which fingertip [the tape] is corresponding to.” Wang and Popović’s system, by contrast, can translate gestures made with a gloved hand into the corresponding gestures of a 3-D model of the hand on screen, with almost no lag time. “This actually gets the 3-D configuration of your hand and your fingers,” Wang says. “We get how your fingers are flexing.”

Although there are obvious applications in computer gaming, the team also believes industrial design could be a key application for the system.