At the 25th ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Microsoft Research will show a number of projects including Digits.
""Digits" employs wearable vision technology to enable freehand gesture input that could potentially be used with personal computing such as a mobile phone, laptop or gaming console," MSR stated.
In the video below, David Kim, one of the researchers behind the project explained "that Digits was inspired by a desire to enable 3D interaction that was not bound to a physical space in the way an earlier project known as Holodesk was." The team wanted to make spatial interaction mobile and turned to a combination of computer vision techniques and off the shelf hardware to build the "wristband."
"The combination of an infrared (IR) laser, IR camera, IR diffuser for illumination and an inertial measurement unit enables tracking of fingers. The current setup can only see five points, which normally would make it difficult to get an accurate view of the hand pose, so the vision system is allied to a biomechanical model of the hand for a full Kinematics model that delivers a very a high degree of accuracy in modeling the hand pose," Kim informs.
There are still some occasions when the tracking is affected by occlusion, "for example when the hand is in a certain pose - though David mentioned the potential to apply a machine learning algorithm that would help alleviate these issues and further improve the accuracy," explained Kim to Steve.
In other Microsoft news, the company is apparently planning to phase out the Microsoft Points in favor of a new Cash Payment Service that's "already integrated into Windows 8."
Starting recently, Microsoft's Points have become a secondary payment option, with Windows 8 users allowed to pay by default with credit cards. While the company hasn't officially said anything about the switch, the Verge however, reporting that "Windows 8 users can now pay for digital content with real money, instead of purchasing bundle of points."