FutureFive NZ - Microsoft senses hands on need for mobile device

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Microsoft senses hands on need for mobile device

Microsoft has revealed details of a sensor bracelet allowing users to control a range of equipment using hand gestures.

The wrist-worn sensor creates 3D-models of the user's hand movements in real-time, with the digital prototype potentially used as a virtual TV control.

Microsoft says other uses could include operating a smartphone while it is in the user's pocket or to play video games, as they aim to replace the impractical sensor gloves.

Developed at Microsoft's computer science lab in the UK, the device uses a camera-based sensor to detect infrared light combined with software capable of interpreting the data produced.

Using a infrared laser beam, invisible to the human eye, the device operates in open spaces allowing users to move freely from location to location.

"The Digits sensor doesn't rely on external infrastructure which means users are not bound to a fixed space," says David Kim, project leader.

"They can interact while moving from room to room or running down the street.

Ultimately we would like to reduce Digits to the size of a watch that can be worn all the time.

"We want users to be able to interact spontaneously with their electronic devices using simple gestures and not even have to reach for their devices."

Despite the breakthrough, it is still unsure whether customers would prefer the technology to be built into existing gadgets rather than wearing extra equipment.

Quarterly earnings release date

Microsoft will publish fiscal year 2013 first-quarter financial results after the close of the market on Thursday October 18, 2012.

The findings will be available on the Microsoft Investor Relations website with a live webcast of the earnings conference call made available at 2:30 p.m pacific time.

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