Researchers at the University of Wisconsin and Cornell developed a device that uses detection technology to track hand movements in 3D.
This device called FingerTrak uses a series of very small thermal cameras and the potential of Machine Learning to detect and interpret hand movements and positions.
The dynamics of this device is simple. Once the user places it on their wrist like a bracelet, the device begins to track the movements of the hand with a very particular system:
This was an important discovery by our team: that by looking at their wrist contours, the technology could be reconstructed in 3D, with great accuracy […] it can detect and translate into 3D the many positions of the human hand, including 20 positions of the finger joints
That is, miniature cameras capture the contour of the wrist and artificial intelligence takes these images to reconstruct the hand and its position in 3D. A process that takes place in real time capturing every slight movement.
You can see some examples of the dynamics that FingerTrak proposes in the video they have shared on YouTube:
The applications of this device are many. It can be used for medical research and the detection of progressive diseases that affect motor ability, such as Parkinson’s. And of course, it will be a great ally for new products or technologies based on virtual reality.
On the other hand, the researchers highlight that this dynamic could also be used for sign language translation, since the device is lightweight and takes advantage of the potential of AI. For the moment, this project is in its initial stage, so we will have to wait to see it in action.