Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Emerging Technology from the arXiv

A View from Emerging Technology from the arXiv

Eigengestures And Minority Report-style Computer Interfaces

The analysis of human hand gestures has identified a new kind of “eigengesture” that could be used as a basis of 3D gesture control, say computer scientists

  • May 10, 2011

What’s the best way to control a computer using 3D gestures? One answer is that the best gestures are the most natural ones. But that leaves a puzzle: how do you determine the most natural gestures?

Today, Piotr Gawron and pals at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Gliwic, give us an answer of sorts. They’ve created a database of 3D human hand gestures and then “solved” the database to find a kind of ideal gesture.

They began with a subject wearing a motion-capture glove and then measured the way the glove moves while making 22 common gestures such as the A-OK sign, a walking motion with two fingers, shoving away an imaginary object and so on.

They then created matrix of the resultant data and found its eigenvectors, the mathematical solutions of a square matrix. They then turned these eigenvectors back into gestures to see what they look like.

These “eigengestures” are important solutions in the mathematical parameter space. But whether they are useful in the real world is not so clear.

The first eigengesture that these guys found is shown above. The sequence of images shows how the gesture looks from the point of view of the performer.

So what to make of this work? This new eigengesture certainly looks natural but Gawron and co say that most of the other eigengestures they’ve found aren’t natural at all. That may be related to their “negative finger bend parameters”!

But why should eigengestures be useful? There doesn’t seem to be any intuitive reason why this kind of analysis should produce useful or even natural gestures. It’s a little like measuring the shape of the letters in the alphabet, crunching the resultant data set in a similar way and suggesting that we’d be better off communicating with the “eigenletters” that it produces.

So despite an interesting approach, it looks as if eigengestures may have only limited use in developing the next generation of Minority Report-style interfaces.

Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1105.1293: Eigengestures For Natural Human Computer Interface

The latest Insider Conversation is live! Listen to the story behind the story.

Subscribe today
Already a Premium subscriber? Log in.

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Basic.
  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning print magazine, unlimited online access plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

    Bimonthly print magazine (6 issues per year)

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.