Interacting with Computers


Manolya Kavakli of the Virtual and Interactive Simulations of Reality Research Group, at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, explains how standard input devices - keyboard and computer mouse, do not closely mimic natural hand motions such as drawing and sketching. Moreover, these devices have not been developed for ergonomic use nor for people with disabilities.

She and her colleagues have developed a computer system architecture that can carry out "gesture recognition". In this system, the person wears "datagloves" which have illuminated LEDs that are tracked by two pairs of computer webcams working to produce an all-round binocular view. This allows the computer to monitor the person's hand or shoulder movements. This input can then be fed to a program, a game, or simulator, or to control a character, an avatar, in a 3D virtual environment.

"We developed two gesture recognition systems: DESigning In virtual Reality (DesIRe) and DRiving for disabled (DRive). DesIRe allows any user to control dynamically in real-time simulators or other programs. DRive allows a quadriplegic person to control a car interface using input from just two LEDs on an over-shoulder garment. For more precise gestures, a DataGlove user can gesture using their fingers”, explains Kavakli.

The system architecture include the following components: Vizard Virtual Reality Toolkit, an immersive projection system, an optical tracking system - specifically the Precision Position Tracker system - and a data input system. The DataGlove input is quite simplistic at the moment, but future work will lead to an increase in sensitivity to specific gestures, such as grasping, strumming, stroking, and other hand movements.

The system is described in detail in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Arts and Technology.

MEDICA.de; Source: Inderscience Publishers