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Move over Kinect - Displair from Russia is a gesture interface in thin air

November 25, 2011 | Hogan Keyser
Displair.jpgNovember 23, 2011 by Natasha Starkell via TechCrunch.com -- Please look at this video and tell me it is not magic. Displair, a Russian company from Astrakhan has come up with a technology to project images into the thin air, and use gestures to move them.




The prototype will certainly need improving to get anywhere near the computer-generated scenes of Tom Cruise flipping through photos displayed in the air in the Minority Report, but unlike the movie, Displair is for real.

The company uses a stream of cold fog to project images onto it and an infrared camera to capture gestures. Unlike oversized body movements which Microsoft Kinect analyze and process using motion camera and infrared depth sensors, Displair solves a bigger challenge of detecting and interpreting finer movements of hands.

Yet Displair's award-winning technology, developed in a student dormitory, has only 0.2 seconds lag time between gesture and computer reaction, compared to 0.1 second lag time of Kinect for Xbox 360, using up to 1500 points in its multi-touch screen system with 1 cm accuracy. Microsoft Research is also making advances in gesture recognition, as is demonstrated in the video here, however such technology is not commercially available yet.

The founder and CEO of Displair Maxim Kamanin believes that there are applications in advertisement and entertainment industry. For example, Russian Alma Group will use the technology in psychotherapy treatments, while  Medical Group plans to set up an interactive terminal for its reception.

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