Vision-Based Gesture Recognition: An Ideal Human Interface for Industrial Control Applications
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By Brian Dipert
Embedded Vision Alliance
This article was originally published in Digi-Key's Microcontroller TechZone. An excerpt of it is reprinted here with the permission of Digi-Key.
Embedded vision, the evolution and extrapolation of computer-based vision systems that process and interpret meaning from still and video images, is poised to be the next big technology success story. Consider, for example, the image sensors and processors now commonly found in cellular phones, tablets, laptop computers and dedicated computer displays. Originally intended for video conferencing and photography, they are now being harnessed for additional applications, such as augmented reality.
Similarly, consider the burgeoning popularity of consumer surveillance systems, driven by steady improvements in cameras and their subsystems, as well as the increasingly user-friendly associated surveillance software and services. Also, as anyone who has recently shopped for an automobile already knows, image sensors are increasingly found in numerous locations around a vehicle, leveraged for parking assistance, rear-view safety, impending-collision alert, lane-departure warning, and other functions.
The same robust-featured and cost-effective image sensors, processors, memory devices, I/O transceivers, and other ICs used in the earlier-mentioned systems are equally available to developers of vision-inclusive industrial automation applications. Gesture-based human interfaces are ideal in many respects, and therefore increasingly common, in such environments. For one thing, they are immediately intuitive; why click on a mouse, or a button, or even slide your finger across a touch screen to flip pages or move within a menu page, when you can instead just sweep your hand through the air?
A gesture-based UI also dispenses with the environmental restrictions that often hamper a touch-based interface; water and other fluids, non-conductive gloves, dirt and germs, etc. However, a first-generation motion implementation...