Oblong’s point and click glove palms $8.8 million

image Oblong industries, a Los Angeles based company has raised $8.8 million in funding  from the Foundry group (picked up from regulatory filings).The company has interesting “gesture recognition” technology developed by founder and Chief Scientist John Underkoffler at MIT. John is a scientific and technical advisor to the movie industry (he has consulted for movies such as the Minority Report and The Hulk) and has designed human-machine feedback loop devices.

The latest gizmo is a glove that is more logical to use than a computer mouse, which is expected to become the first commercial gesture recognition device.

According to a patent filed in August 2006 by inventors, John Underkoffler and Kevin Parent (#20060187196):

image The system provides a gestural interface to various visually presented elements, presented on a display screen or screens. A gestural vocabulary includes `instantaneous` commands, in which forming one or both hands into the appropriate `pose` results in an immediate, one-time action; and `spatial` commands, in which the operator either refers directly to elements on the screen by way of literal `pointing` gestures or performs navigational maneuvers by way of relative or “offset” gestures. The system contemplates the ability to identify the users hands in the form of a glove or gloves with certain indicia provided thereon, or any suitable means for providing recognizable indicia on a user’s hands or body parts. A system of cameras can detect the position, orientation, and movement of the user’s hands and translate that information into executable commands.

In short, by using a special glove, a user’s gestures, such as pointing, can be translated into commands using cameras that pick up the position and orientation of the hands.

Finally, a true point and click device!


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