Microsoft researches gesture-controls on PCs using Kinect

Microsoft's research department likes to do quite a few projects with the motion-sensing camera Kinect. According to The Verge, the company has revealed

Microsoft's research department likes to do quite a few projects with the motion-sensing camera Kinect. According to The Verge, the company has revealed its newest research project: the ability to use Kinect's gesture technology on Windows. It works by mounting the Kinect above the computer, which lets the camera detect gestures above and around the keyboard mouse.

Microsoft researcher Abigail Sellen has stated that the project doesn't aim to replace the mouse and keyboard. Instead, it wants to compliment these input options with some added functionality. "What we don't want here is Tom Cruise in minority report," Sellen explains. "What gestures are good at are being very casual, expressive. What they're not good at is being precise. Touch is good at that, mouse pointer is good at that. We don't need to do that with gestures."

Microsoft researches gesture-controls on PCs using Kinect

Still quite handy

 

Microsoft wants to see how much these gestures can improve the usual PC-using experience. "We're not doing anything precise, and nothing that requires you to hold your hands up for a long time," explains Sellen.

Some new gestures that Microsoft is thinking of right now include areas around the keyboard where, for instance, one can scroll through web pages without needing an extra trackpad. Currently, The Verge reports that the pinching and zooming gestures work well with the Kinect.

The major problem when a gesture-styled interface is introduced is the ability of people to remember these gestures. Because of that, Microsoft opted for the ones that have either already been in-grained into users’ muscle memories by using things like smartphones, and ones that feel natural. "It taught us which gestures people find the most usable," explains Sellen.

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