Microsoft reveals wrist-mounted controller that creates in-game 3D hand

Tom Sykes at

As spotted on Edge, Microsoft has revealed a wrist-mounted bracelet that can be used to control games, smartphones, TVs, and eventually an army of killer robots, via infra-red sensors that create an accurate 3D model of the user's hand. Dubbed Digits, the technology uses infra-red sensors to build a "fully articulated hand skeleton", which can then be represented in-game as your very own digital limb. When using it on smartphones, tablets or a TV, it's more of an invisible, phantom limb, but it will obey your commands nonetheless.

According to David Kim, project leader at Microsoft Research in Cambridge - researchers at Newcastle University and the University of Crete were also involved in Digits' creation - “The sensor doesn’t rely on external infrastructure, which means users are not bound to a fixed space. They can interact while moving from room to room or running down the street.” So if you've ever dreamed of playing a game while running to catch a bus, you're in luck. You won't be able to see the game - unless Digits teams up with Oculus Rift - but it's a start.

Unlike Kinect, Digits doesn't appear to be restricted to the Xbox, so we'll likely get to play around with it on PC. We can already imagine it coming in handy with Neal Stephenson's recently kickstarted swordfighting sim Clang, for example. That the prototype looks eerily like Ezio's wristblade is surely no coincidence either. Have a gawp at this rather impressive Digits video to learn more.