Researchers at Microsoft have realized a system able to track in real time the movements of the hand. The technology called Microsoft Hand pose and shown during the CHI conference in Seoul opens the door to new ways of human-machine communication and the growth of applications in various fields from gaming to practical reality.
Microsoft has accumulated many years of experience in the field of motion sensing especially thanks to the design of Kinect. Hand pose is an evolution of the technology used every day by users of Xbox 360 and Xbox 1. Unlike the sensor present in many homes, which track the movements of the entire body the new system has been developed to recognize the smallest movements of the hand and fingers. For a computer it is a complex task.
Draw a hand means detect movement of each joint and correctly distinguish the fingers, even when they are hidden objective of the camera. Engineers at Microsoft investigate have initially used machine learning to teach the computer how to recognize the different positions of the hands through thousands of labeled images. Since the quality obtained was not satisfactory the researchers combined the mechanism learning with 3D modeling. The result is a system able to track all movements of the hand in real time still when the user moves into the room and in the dark.
Practical applications of this technology are endless. Video games, virtual reality interpretation of sign language reading documents remote manage of robots and drones are just some of the forms of human-machine interaction likely with Hand pose. The recognition of hand movements might also have important implications for the future of artificial intelligence.