Humans & Machines – Part 1

September 11, 2013


It’s likely that we all spend more time with machines, than with other people. It’s odd to think of it this way, but look around you and you know it’s true. We depend on our computers, laptops, tablets, and feel lost when we are separated from our phones. It’s not just a normal part of our day, but we can’t imagine life without our technology.

And each day, our ‘relationship’ with machines get easier and easier, especially with technology like gesture recognition – a way for electronic devices such as computers to begin to understand human body language. This builds a deeper connection between humans and machines as the interaction and communication can be done without basic text user interfaces or graphical user interfaces that still depend on the use of mechanical devices such as a keyboard and mouse.

Gesture recognition interprets human gestures with mathematical algorithms. Gestures originate from any body motion and the most common use of gesture recognition is from face, hand or finger movements. For instance, pointing a finger at a computer screen to move the cursor rather than using devices such as a mouse or a touch-screen.

This is all possible through the use of cameras, which are on most consumer electronic devices today, from smart phones, computers, televisions, and even automobiles. Gesture recognition through the use of cameras changes the way we interact with our devices and each other, as the image sensors and image processing through cameras generate and interpret data. Since gestures have always been a part of human interaction, this added support of gesture interfaces enables us to operate devices by using our natural language.

This advancement in technology creates ease and is more intuitive than using other interface technologies. In addition, when combining gesture recognition with advanced face recognition and voice commands, user experience is enhanced and richer, so it’s no wonder our dependency and use of technology has increased, as the evolution of technology has made our interactions more natural and simple.

Stay tuned for our next post, Humans and Machines – Part 2, with other current examples of gestural interfaces and examples from Tractor.

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