Ever since we saw and first wrote about Pranev Mistry’s now famous TED presentation on his Sixth Sense device we have been waiting for it to come to market. The technology interface we have today is staid and cumbersome and smartphone ‘pinch and zoom’ technology and Samsung’s Note pen are now starting slowly to break new ground.
Microsoft have now produced a Digits prototype with the aim of creating a mobile device that enables its owner to control a range of equipment through hand gestures. Digits is designed to be the next generation of the sensor gloves but leaves a big question as to whether its design is still to cumbersome and unattractive to capture the imagination of the consumers.
However, some experts question whether consumers would want to wear such a device during their day-to-day activities.
A video showing off the product has been posted online.
Digits’s camera-based sensor detects infrared light and together with software constructs a "fully articulated hand skeleton", which by measuring the distance between fingers a thumbs, can be determine, interpret and understand what the user's hand is doing.
They aim to reduce the component parts such that the device could be the size of a watch, worn constantly and enable users to be able to interact spontaneously with their devices using simple gestures and not even touch them. Some of the gestures sound exciting; twisting an imaginary dial to turn up the volume, playing video games without a console by creating recognised gestures, tapping fingers on an imaginary smartphone pad to dial a number, closing and opening documents by clenching and opening your palms.
So will Digits succeed to start to establish Pranev Mistry’s Sixth Sense world of become another games extension? If it can become device agnostic it may stand a chance but again will Microsoft tie it too closely to selling their devices and their operating systems?
We must remember Digits is only a prototype so has a long way to go but that Pranev Mistry showed us clear direction and better application over two years ago.
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