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(Pocket-lint) - 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.” 

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What can we say other than, handy.

Writing by Danny Brogan. Originally published on 16 April 2013.