Microsoft reveals the wrist motion sensor that could retire Kinect

A team of Microsoft researchers has developed a motion-tracking device that fits around your wrist without the need for motion detection cameras, enabling users to interact with their electronic devices with a flick of the wrist or the squeeze of a palm.

Dubbed “Digits”, the device uses infrared technology to recognise hand movements and recreate a virtual three-dimensional space.

For example, users will be able to change the volume on their music player by mimicking the turning of a virtual dial. Likewise a page on your eBook could be turned by simply moving your hand from right to left or a shoot em’ up game could be played by cocking your finger and thumb like a gun.

The Digits technology has been developed on behalf of Microsoft by Newcastle University and the Foundation for Research & Technology in Greece 

Unlike Microsoft’s current motion detection technology, Kinect, there would be no need for a camera to register the movement. Currently the Digits device is a prototype only and its bulk remains a factor.

“Ultimately, we would like to reduce Digits to the size of a watch that can be worn all the time,” says David Kim, a Microsoft researcher. 

“We want users to be able to interact spontaneously with their electronic devices using simple gestures and not even have to reach for their devices.” 

What can we say other than, handy.