Researchers from Oculus Research in Redmond, Washington, together with scientists from the University of Washington have developed a project known as Finexus, which is capable of sensing hand movements by tracking fingers via magnetic sensors attached to each fingertip - according to MIT Technology Review.
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Facebook already has an Oculus device, and this latest development indicates that in the nearest future, Facebook’s Oculus device might track users’ fingers movement in 3D. This is because electromagnets and sensors are attached to the fingertips of users to enable the Oculus device track movement of users’ fingers and display this in three dimensions.
This project was first started by Keyu Chen during his internship at Oculus Research, now he is a graduate student at University of Washington. Chen believes that Finexus can one day be used for delicate tasks that require slight finger motions such as painting, writing in the air, and playing virtual piano among others.
Chen states that “sometimes you want something where you can actually use your fingers for dedicated motion.”
Oculus Research would not speak on the project at the moment but will be presenting the research at the ACM CHI 2016 conference on computer-human interaction in San Jose, California, by May 2016.
The Finexus technology will work fine even if its direct line of sight is temporarily blocked, unlike some other tracking systems that rely on cameras that use direct-line-of-sight to monitor body movements.
And another thing: Chen thinks that it will be possible to build Finexus into a glove and wristband, or smartwatch in the future. The electromagnets will be housed in the glove, and the wristband will hold the sensors. And he is toying with the idea of adding more electromagnets and lesser sensors to aid precision in moving fingers during any delicate activity.
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Chen is working on fine-tuning the Finexus hardware and miniaturizing it at the moment, but he does not know when any organization would want to snap it up. “I do not know if [Oculus is] going to put this in a future product, but that is one possibility,” he said.