Friday, 19 August 2011

Data Miming – Computers understand hand-waving

Explaining an object is pretty easy when we use our hands.
For mankind, it's not at all difficult to make out what is meant, but processors struggle. Though the gesture-based interfaces exist, these use only set movements that translate into particular instructions. A new system named Data Miming has been developed which can recognize physical objects from gestures without the user needing to memorize a "vocabulary" of specific movements.
"Starting from the observation that humans can effortlessly understand which objects are being described when hand motions are used, we asked why computers can't do the same thing," says Christian Holz of the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany who developed the system with Andy Wilson at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington.
Data Miming uses a Microsoft Kinect motion-capture camera to create a 3D representation of a user's hand movements. Voxels, or pixels in three dimensions, are activated when users pass their hands through the space represented by each voxel. And when a user encircles their fingers to indicate a table leg, say, the system can also identify that all of the enclosed space should be included in the representation. It then compares user-generated representations with a database of objects in voxel form and selects the closest match.
Watch the video at YouTube which might give you a better picture:

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