Digits is a wrist-worn sensor that recovers the full 3D pose of the user's hand. This enables a variety of freehand interactions on the move. The system targets mobile settings, and is specifically designed to be low-power and easily reproducible using only off-the-shelf hardware. The electronics are self-contained on the user's wrist, but optically image the entirety of the user's hand.

This data is processed using a new pipeline that robustly samples key parts of the hand, such as the tips and lower regions of each finger. These sparse samples are fed into new kinematic models that leverage the biomechanical constraints of the hand to recover the 3D pose of the user's hand. The proposed system works without the need for full instrumentation of the hand (for example using data gloves), additional sensors in the environment, or depth cameras which are currently prohibitive for mobile scenarios due to power and form-factor considerations.

We demonstrate the utility of Digits for a variety of application scenarios, including 3D spatial interaction with mobile devices, eyes-free interaction on-the-move, and gaming. We conclude with a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of our system, and discussion of strengths, limitations and future work.

Accompanying Video

ACM Digital Library

ACM DL Author-ize service Digits: freehand 3D interactions anywhere using a wrist-worn gloveless sensor
David Kim, Otmar Hilliges, Shahram Izadi, Alex D. Butler, Jiawen Chen, Iason Oikonomidis, Patrick Olivier
UIST '12 Proceedings of the 25th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology, 2012

Published at

ACM User Interface and Software Technologies (UIST), 2012

runner-up Best Demo Award

Project Links


@inproceedings{Kim:2012:DFI:2380116.2380139, author = {Kim, David and Hilliges, Otmar and Izadi, Shahram and Butler, Alex D. and Chen, Jiawen and Oikonomidis, Iason and Olivier, Patrick}, title = {Digits: Freehand 3D Interactions Anywhere Using a Wrist-worn Gloveless Sensor}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the 25th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology}, series = {UIST '12}, year = {2012}, isbn = {978-1-4503-1580-7}, location = {Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA}, pages = {167--176}, numpages = {10}, url = {http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2380116.2380139}, doi = {10.1145/2380116.2380139}, acmid = {2380139}, publisher = {ACM}, address = {New York, NY, USA}, keywords = {3d interaction, hand tracking, mobile, wearables}, }