Gesture Control for HMI Applications

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Gesture control has become a topic of interest lately. Trying to avoid people transmitting diseases by touching surfaces that control electronic devices is the reason behind this interest. 

If you think about public kiosks and PIN pads and the number of times people touch them during the day, you can see the importance of this technology.

Gesture control has been around for many years. The most popular application for it has been in gaming. Sony’s WII and Xbox’s Kinect are an excellent example of gesture control. The WII required you to hold a controller, and Kinect did not.   The gesture control we are seeing discussed now does not require holding a control; it uses your hands’ movements to determine the device’s actions.

The most popular way of implementing gesture without using a control is by using two cameras, which is what Microsoft’s Kinect uses. The two cameras pick up the position, movement, and gesture of your hand or body. They use this information to manipulate the curser of the device you are trying to control, avoiding any actual contact with the device. 
This technology has not taken over a standard touch screen or a mouse because it has been expensive and complex.

Another method for gesture uses a capacitive touch screen with a highly sensitive touch controller. Some of the new controllers allow you to manipulate the curser while maintaining a small distance between the finger and the touch screen’s surface.  You can imagine there are some issues related to noise and sensitivity. Some new touch controller technologies have addressed this, which is probably the most practical implementation of gesture since it does not require a controller or the additional complexity of a dual-camera system.

Gesture in the gaming industry seems to have lost its momentum. The new Xbox games are not taking advantage of it. It will be interesting to see if gesture gets adopted in markets outside of gaming like Kiosks and PIN pads.

If you have a project that is considering taking advantage of any HDMI technology, US Micro Products can provide a solution designed for your application. Send us an email at

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