Hand gesture recognition technology has so far required complicated setting only suitable for certain applications

First gesture recognition software for mobile phones

New software developed by the University of Warwick researchers enables regular cameras in smartphones and tablets to recognise gesture-commands in natural light.

Until today, all existing hand gesture recognition (HGR) tools developed either by the industry or academia, required usage of infrared or 3D cameras and were only reliable in artificial light. The achievement of the University of Warwick team is thus considered a major breakthrough.

“Along with the ability to continue working when other people are moving in the background, adapt to changing lighting conditions and to cope when the hand temporarily moves out of sight, our research not only goes beyond existing HGR technology, but it also makes it practical and easily available for consumers” said Professor Chang-Tsun Li who led the research at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Warwick.

The stringent requirements of the existing hand gesture recognition tools made the technology only suitable for niche areas such as the gaming industry and smart TVs.

Professor Li believes the new software, capable of recognising both, gesture and posture, will be of great interest to surgeons in operating theatres or workers in the automotive industry.

An international patent application has been filed in the name of the University of Warwick researchers who are now seeking commercial partners to bring the technology to market.

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