Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New interactive system detects touch and gestures on any surface

10.10.2012
People can let their fingers - and hands - do the talking with a new touch-activated system that projects onto walls and other surfaces and allows users to interact with their environment and each other.
The system identifies the fingers of a person's hand while touching any plain surface. It also recognizes hand posture and gestures, revealing individual users by their unique traits.

"Imagine having giant iPads everywhere, on any wall in your house or office, every kitchen counter, without using expensive technology," said Niklas Elmqvist, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University. "You can use any surface, even a dumb physical surface like wood. You don't need to install expensive LED displays and touch-sensitive screens."

The new "extended multitouch" system allows more than one person to use a surface at the same time and also enables people to use both hands, distinguishing between the right and left hand.

Research indicates the system is 98 percent accurate in determining hand posture, which is critical to recognizing gestures and carrying out commands. The technology has many possible applications, said Karthik Ramani, Purdue's Donald W. Feddersen Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

"Basically, it might be used for any interior surface to interact virtually with a computer," he said. "You could use it for living environments, to turn appliances on, in a design studio to work on a concept or in a laboratory, where a student and instructor interact."

Findings are detailed in a research paper being presented this week during the Association for Computing Machinery Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (ACM UIST 2012) in Cambridge, Mass. The paper was written by doctoral students Sundar Murugappan and Vinayak, who uses only one name, Elmqvist and Ramani.

The system uses the Microsoft Kinect camera, which senses three-dimensional space.

"We project a computer screen on any surface, just a normal table covered with white paper," Ramani said. "The camera sees where your hands are, which fingers you are pressing on the surface, tracks hand gestures and recognizes whether there is more than one person working at the same time." The Kinect camera senses depth, making it possible to see how far each 3-D pixel is from the camera. The researchers married the camera with a new computer model for the hand.

"So we can isolate different parts of a hand or finger to show how far they are from the surface," Elmqvist said. "We can see which fingers are touching the surface. With this technology, you could potentially call up a menu by positioning your hand just above the surface." That camera coupled with the hand model allows the system to locate the center of each hand, which is necessary for determining gestures and distinguishing between left and right hands.

Researchers explored possible applications, including one that allows the user to draw a sketch with a pen and then modify it with their hands.

"We can detect gestural interactions between more than one hand and more than one user," Ramani said. "You could do precision things, like writing with a pen, with your dominant hand and more general things, such as selecting colors, using the non-dominant hand."

Researchers tested the concept in two user studies, one with 14 volunteers and the other with nine. Findings from one study indicated display features should be no smaller than 18 millimeters, or about an inch, to be efficient.

"While new and more precise cameras will improve accuracy, we have established the necessary hand models and principles for the system," Ramani said.

The other user study showed the system can effectively determine hand posture and whether the right or left hand is being used.

"We wanted to see how accurate we could be while figuring out different configurations, such as touching with all 10 fingers, which hand is being used and so on," Elmqvist said.

That study indicated the system was 98 percent accurate in determining hand posture.

Patents are pending on the concept.

The research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the Donald W. Feddersen Chaired Professorship at Purdue School of Mechanical Engineering. (A video about the system can be viewed at https://Engineering.Purdue.edu/cdesign/wp/?p=1423).

Writer: Emil Venere, 765-494-3470, venere@purdue.edu

Sources: Niklas Elmqvist, 765 494-0364, elm@purdue.edu
Karthik Ramani, 765-494-5725, ramani@purdue.edu
Related websites:
Niklas Elmqvist: http://engineering.purdue.edu/~elm/
Karthik Ramani: https://engineering.purdue.edu/~ramani
IMAGE CAPTION:
This composite image shows how fingers and hands are computed in a new touch-activated system that projects onto walls and other surfaces and allows people to interact with their environment and each other. (Purdue University image)

A publication-quality image is available at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/images/2012/elmqvist-multitouch.jpg

Emil Venere | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.purdue.edu

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified
05.12.2016 | University of Sussex

nachricht UT professor develops algorithm to improve online mapping of disaster areas
29.11.2016 | University of Tennessee at Knoxville

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Predicting unpredictability: Information theory offers new way to read ice cores

07.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

Sea ice hit record lows in November

07.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

New material could lead to erasable and rewriteable optical chips

07.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>