Joynt: 3Gear develops gesture interface using Microsoft’s Kinect

Jordan Joynt

A San Francisco based startup called 3Gear is working on developing new technology using Microsoft’s Kinect camera, primarily involving gestures. The Kinect uses a motion sensing camera to detect 3D movement for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and PC.

3Gear uses a gesture interface that will track hand and finger movements for use with 3D applications and gaming.

The system uses two Kinect or depth cameras constructed above the computer, catching hand and finger gestures. Kinect works with full body movements, but the 3Gear interface tracks more intricate and intuitive interactions.

Current interfaces and gesture technology have been described as uncomfortable to use, resulting in “gorilla arm” and fatigue. Prolonged use of gesture-based software with vertically mounted touchscreens can cause discomfort and atrophied muscles.

“If I want to work at my desk and use gestures, I can’t do that all day,” said 3Gear cofounder Robert Wang. “It’s not precise, and it’s not ergonomic.”

3Gear has focused on ergonomics and comfort using the desk as support. The movements happen directly above the keyboard or desk without changes in posture and positioning.

The new software is being developed for areas such as computer-aided design, the medical field and gaming purposes. Gestures could eventually be used for assembling parts and control over MRIs in the medical environment.

An early version of the software is available for programmers.