Microsoft is well on its way to bring hand gesture controlled technologies into reality as a newly granted patent reveals it is working on an electronic device that can do such.
The US Patent Office published last week a granted Microsoft patent relating to a hand gesture system which is expected to work on different devices like home appliances and computers. Titled "Electrical Device for Hand Gestures Detection", the new patented technology uses an electrical device to sense hand-directed motions which will be based on a hardware or a combination of a hardware carrying instructions. The electrical device is studied to allow connection with imaging devices to keep tabs on the hand movements.
This technology is targeted to support different types of electronic devices and systems across all fields, including smart home, customer service, sports gears, automotive, and gaming, among others. In the patent's illustration, Microsoft uses a microwave to manipulate it using pre-determined gesture controls to signal when to begin cooking, when to increase the timer's time, and when to stop the cooking time.
Microsoft's developed hand gesture technology can also work as a car control unit which will allow drivers to navigate the steering wheel, gear stick, and dashboard. The company is looking into expanding what its Kinect device can do which is limited to Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The hand gesture sensing device is a project led by Microsoft Advanced Technology Lab lead Kfir Karmon.
The technology looks almost similar to what BBC Newsnight showed in its recent episode with David Grossman where his team visited Microsoft's Building 99 in Redmond, Washington. In the said episode, Grossman was seen with his hand gestures reflected on the laptop as it moves via a 3D depth camera.
Apple, on the other hand, had two patents granted in June which relate to hand gesture technologies as well. One relates to control gaming, Apple TV, and home appliances and the other uses a 3D depth mapping camera for future Macs and smart glasses.