Concept setup (via 3Gear Systems)
3Gear Systems is a company based out of San Francisco currently only made up of three people. These three people have all earned their Ph.D. from different schools, however their shared vision of enhancing computer graphics and HCI led them all in the same direction. Supported by K9 Ventures, Uj Ventures, and a research grant from the National Science Foundation, 3Gear has created a system using two Kinect cameras which can capture and analyze wrist and finger movements on the order of millimeters.
To create such a precise system, the team was tasked with creating their own software to run and read the cameras. To accomplish this task, new computer graphics algorithms were developed, and a large database was created to store all possible hand configurations in the working environment. During the system operation, the images from the camera are used to find the correct pose of the hand within the database. Due to the extremely efficient sampled and indexed organization of the database, the position and pose of the user's hand can be determined within milliseconds.
As of now a free SDK is available for anyone looking to explore and utilize their system. They have shown that the software can be very useful in applications such as 3D modeling, games, or in environments where it may be inconvenient to touch a computer although it may still be needed. First time users of the system will be required to calibrate the system, but that will only need to be completed once. The software will be free for everyone until the end of the beta period (November 30), in which it will then only be free to researchers and hobbyist. 3Gear has introduced us to a new way to interact with computers, and may make 3D modeling much easier to work with.
Wish I could use this with SolidWorks.