Microsoft Research’s Advanced Technologies Lab recently showed off a research project called Project Prague that will allow app developers to include basic hand gesture support into their applications without much work. They can also create customised gestures for their own apps or other products, with very little additional programming or expertise.
Unfortunately, their demo video was pretty short at only around 30 seconds, but they have also uploaded a much longer video which better shows off the potential usefulness of the technology, which is based on using a depth-sensing camera such as Intel’s Realsense camera.
Let’s say you’re talking to a colleague over Skype and you’re ready to end the call. What if, instead of using your mouse or keyboard to click a button, you could simply make the movement of hanging up the phone?
Need to lock your computer screen quickly? What if, instead of scrambling to close windows and hit keyboard shortcuts, you simply reach out and mimic the gesture of turning a key in a lock?
While Microsoft envisions some gestures which would require some precision, I suspect it would be much more useful for the same kind of uses as mouse gestures – closing a page or application, muting sound, reloading a page etc, where it would make a valuable additional control surface for applications.
Developers interested in accessing the technology can read more at Microsoft here.