These Lycra gloves are part of a new MIT prototype for a new gesture-based computing system. Graduate student Robert Wang and Associate Professor Jovan Popović developed this system that improves upon other techniques that use interfaces that adapt to human movement, such as the Nintendo Wii. Lycra gloves made of irregularly shaped patches are part of a system that rapidly produces 3-D images of the gloves on the screen using a new algorithm to produce images in a fraction of a second. Rather than incessantly calculating individual sets of data to determine the position of a hand, instead the algorithm searches through a database of various hand positions and selects the corresponding digital model.
I think it’s especially interesting that the motions used to control the screen on a Multi-Touch Table, in my experience, are very similar to the motions used with this gesture-based system in a virtual world, as shown in the video below. This prototype is faster and less expensive than the current methods to track the movements of the human body, and has the potential to increase the usage of such technology in areas like evaluations of athletic performances, animation, and of course video games.