New computer program uses hand signals to control computers
Typealike is an innovative technology made by Canadian researchers that allows hand signals to trigger reactions from computers.
Currently, a prototype has been developed that uses a webcam and mirror to detect various gestures and make the computer work depending on where they are. For example, if a person using the device put their right hand near the keyboard with their thumb pointing upwards, it would trigger the computer to turn up the volume.
“A prototype has been developed that uses a webcam and a mirror to detect various gestures and make the computer work depending on where they are.”
The University of Waterloo says this prompted the creation of a mechanical prop that guides the camera to users’ hands. The software is able to identify and interpret user gestures in various situations and for various users.
During the development phase, a group of volunteers were used to perform various hand movements which were recorded in a database and submitted for examinations so that the researchers could develop their knowledge on how to make the software as efficient and adaptable as possible.
The Typealike app has the potential to be used in virtual reality instead of traditional manual controls.
University of Waterloo graduate Nalin Chhibber said, “It all started with a simple idea on new ways to use a webcam. The webcam is pointed at your face, but most of the interactions that happen on a computer are around your hands. So we thought, what could we do if the webcam could pick up hand gestures? “
Fabrice Matulic, Principal Investigator at Preferred Networks, explained that “It’s a neural network, so you have to show the example algorithms of what you’re trying to detect. Some people will gesture a little differently, and the hands vary in size, so you have to collect a lot of data from different people with different lighting conditions.
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