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Gesture Control Devices - Basics

Over the past century of technologies, GUI (Graphical User Interface) continuously showered a lot of features and user experience which make the technology savvy users’ lives more gorgeous and interactive.

But the revolutionary change in technology has its U-turn with the new Natural User Interface (NUI).

This new feature in technology helps in quick immersion in apps by mastering the control of gadgets with minimum learning and pressure through gesture and movements. This technology gain momentum with the rise in ambient intelligence applications and technologies such as VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality). Gesture recognition system and it collaboration with different gadgets and in different course has become a new emerging field in the language technology & computer science stream.

The main motive of this approach is to interpret the gestures (body parts movement) created by human by capturing their postures and converting them to meaningful data using algorithms. The modern adaptation of technology by users from all over the world is highly dependent on gesture controlled devices such as – Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality games and applications, gesture-detectable drones etc. Hence this greatly enhances the usability of these modern technologies.

The impact of NUI contributes mainly on touch-less gesture controlled systems that help to manipulate virtual objects in real time as we do with physically existing objects. This ultimately removes mouse and keyboard based interactions and their dependencies with respect to GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces).

Modern gesture control devices focuses more towards emotion recognition where the data is extracted through face expressions and hand gestures. These gesture based devices made it possible for users to interact with digital environment without any physical contact.


It was the early 1970’s when wired gloves were invented & introduced in market for capturing arm motions and hand gestures. These gloves were designed with sensors (resistance as well as optical), tactile switches, etc for measuring the bending of joints and turns in hands and fingers.

With the advancement in gesture based recognition, devices became more sophisticated with the new vision based gestures which can recognize user gestures when users stand in front of camera (2D cameras) in which some programs & algorithms (programs containing OpenCV libraries, computer vision libraries) run in background to capture the gestures. These systems have higher processing power as compared to wired gloves.

Gradually, the 3D cameras came, which was able to recognize the depth of the image as well. One popular example of such camera is the Microsoft’s Kinect which has the capability to sense the entire body of a player or user.

List of some popular libraries and programs used in making software for gesture control devices are –

  • Orbbec 3D

  • Structure Sensors

  • Intel Realsense

  • Asus Xtion

  • Leap Motion

Gesture based devices are also popularly used in transportation, in vehicles. Today’s modern cab drivers and travellers listen to music or videos or even checkout the route while driving. But due to distractions, this can be fatal, which is a big problem.

The gesture based devices helps eliminate such accidents and mishaps. Automobile manufacturing companies like BMW and Audi are coming with gesture recognition infotainment systems which will help the driver keep an eye on the road and traffic while changing the songs, opening apps, listening to what the Google Map or other route-guiding apps are saying. Camera based gesture control system developed by BMW car manufacturers is one common example. Examples of some other gesture controlled devices are Drones, Augmented & Mixed Reality game consoles, wearable gadgets, Apple’s Touchpad, Myo, etc.

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