Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Information Technology
Information Technology
Imaging Technique for Recognizing Hand Gestures & Other Micromotions in 3-D
WARF: P170202US01

Inventors: Mohit Gupta, Brandon Smith, Pratham Desai, Vishal Agarwal

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested developing a cost-competitive speckle imaging technique for measuring non-rigid micromotions on smartphones and other devices.
With recent advancements in digital imaging, image sensors have become popular for capturing motion in 3-D. However, measuring small scale motion such as fine hand gestures across a user interface remains challenging. Conventional low-cost cameras can detect motions only down to the millimeter or centimeter scale.

Speckle imaging is a technique currently used to measure microscale motions in a variety of settings, including industrial inspection, scientific imaging and user interfaces (e.g., optical mice). To date, speckle imaging has been limited to measuring 2-D motions of single rigid objects and not suitable for tracking motion toward or away from the sensor (i.e., axial motion).
The Invention
UW–Madison researchers have developed a new imaging technique that analyzes speckle patterns to track extremely small 3-D motions on the order of 10-100 microns. This technique enables, for the first time, precise 3-D measurement of multiple moving objects using low-cost, off-the-shelf components.
  • Gesture recognition for devices such as smartphones and wearable sensors
  • Motion analysis of cells, molecules and other microscopic particles
Key Benefits
  • Measures 3-D micromotions of more than one object
  • Motion sensitivity is one to two orders of magnitude better than conventional sensors.
  • Uses inexpensive components that can be scaled down
Stage of Development
Feasibility has been demonstrated with a hardware prototype consisting of a lens-less sensor and a laser pointer. The researchers have developed a high speed and accurate finger gesture recognition system that can be incorporated into various interactive wearable devices.
For current licensing status, please contact Michael Carey at [javascript protected email address] or 608-960-9867