Friday, September 13, 2013

AMD processor support, smoother installation, performance improvements (v0.9.30)

We've gotten a lot of requests for better support for AMD processors (Athlon II, Phenom, FX, etc.), and we deliver in this version. This involved rewriting the parts of our code which used SSSE3, SSE4.1 to only use SSE2. The rewrite actually helped us increase performance overall (even on Intel Core i7 processors). We're pretty happy with the result and encourage you to try out our latest version!

Another improvement in this version is a smoother installation process. For people who don't have administrative access on their machines, this version is a big deal. Now, once our software has been installed, it can be configured and run by any user on the local machine without permission issues or stomping on someone else's data.

As always, you can grab our latest version from our download page.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tracking arbitrary 10-finger motion, robustness, latency improvements (v0.9.29)

This version marks the biggest improvement in both functionality and robustness since we released our single-camera DevKit in April. Today, we're announcing experimental support for arbitrary 10-finger hand-tracking. Here's a 30 second video illustrating what we mean by "arbitrary":

You can learn more about arbitrary 10-finger tracking mode in the installation notes included in the download.

There have also been a number of robustness improvements since v0.9.27. In particular, the hands are much better behaved when touching and when the hand occludes the arm. Furthermore, we are better at detecting when the left and right hands are swapped and will swap them back.

We've also made some significant gains in reducing latency. This started in v0.9.26, when we cut 50ms off of most example applications on the Mac, and continues in this version, where HandViewer is 20ms faster. Take a look at the responsiveness in this new recording of HandViewer, Heart Demo and Cricket Defender.

Lastly, we've added some convenience features. It's easier than ever to get started using the Heart Demo and Cricket Defender, which have a built-in 1-second hand calibration step now. We're also providing access to the raw depth data in the API.

This is all to say that you should really download our latest version here.

For existing users of our software, you'll need to re-sample your databases for this version. This probably means running "handcalibration.bat sample" from the GesturalUserInterface directory. Running "camerasetup.bat" to recalibrate the camera(s) should also do the trick.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

One-second hand calibration, more accurate hand orientation tracking (v0.9.27)

We're delivering the fastest (and most robust) hand calibration routine yet in this version. It takes about one second to calibrate your hands now, and we have calibration-mode on by default. This is especially useful when many people are cycling through using the system -- e.g. doctors in an operating room or users of a public kiosk.

The hand orientation tracking is also significantly more accurate than before. We've fixed some bugs that were causing the hands to flip along the arm axis occasionally.

Finally, the HandTrackingServer on Windows behaves more intelligently. It no longer stomps on top of another running instance of HandTrackingServer or launches multiple copies of DebugViewer.

Every version, we try to push the accuracy of the hand-tracking a bit more. We have empirically found that the new scale calibration and hand orientation improvements are making a big difference, and we hope you'll enjoy trying out these updates too! Check it out at

Monday, June 17, 2013

Performance improvements, bug fixes and much easier installation (v0.9.26)

We've made some big performance improvements and fixed some major installation hurdles in v0.9.26, along with bug fixes and hand tracking improvements. You can (always) grab the latest version at:

The Mac OS X applications are nearly twice as responsive now (50ms improvement in most cases). Games such as CricketDefender, Xylophone and Slingshot in particular also refresh / render faster.

Installation on both Mac and Windows is also significantly easier. Windows has a GUI installer now designed to catch missing requirements and pitfalls. Mac includes libusb and removes the dependency on some unnecessary libraries (OpenCV's highgui) which were causing problems for OS X 10.7 users.

These improvements, combined with the usual bug fixes and hand-tracking quality improvements make upgrading to v0.9.26 well worth it!

Let us know if this helps, and keep us posted about what you would like to see in the next version!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Play Minecraft, Control Google Maps with Gestures; Release v0.9.24

Play Minecraft, Control Google Maps with Gestures; Release v0.9.24

We've been hard at work connecting our technology to real-world existing applications. Now, you can do this too, without any programming, using the included Dashboard application. Here are two 1-minute videos showing off what we mean:

Navigate Reddit, Control Google Maps, three.js demos using gestures

Play Minecraft, Team Fortress 2, Portal using gestures.

This isn't just proof-of-concept, it's actual footage of working code. These demos work by controlling the Windows / Mac OS X mouse cursor. It's a quick and dirty way to prototype any interaction you're currently using the mouse for with gestures.

For more information check out our (hardware) DevKit and our technology. It's never been easier to add gestures to your applications.

A full list of the v0.9.24 changes follow:

  • Significant improvements to the Dashboard application
  • Bug fixes to the way we load Kinect/OpenNI/OpenNI2 libraries in both Mac and Windows
  • Debug Viewer now reconnects to HandTrackingServer automatically

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Single-camera support, Hardware DevKit and more

We've been busy over the last couple of months and are announcing some exciting new features today:
Check out the new Development Kit
  • Single-camera support makes our system more portable and much easier to setup.
  • Our new (Hardware) DevKit is now the preferred way to use our system. It bundles the best sensor (PrimeSense short-range sensor) and the best frame together in a single easy-to-install package. Get yours today!
  • The new Quick-start mode lets you use our system immediately, without going through the longer hand calibration process.
  • The new Dashboard application makes it easy to control existing applications without writing a single line of code by driving the mouse and keyboard.

More details about the v0.9.22 release:

Single-Camera Support

Setting up and calibrating two cameras has been a nightmare for a lot of you. With single-camera mode, you still get robust and accurate tracking, but in a more portable, compact package. Switching to single-camera mode is as easy as flipping a switch in the config file. Add the line,

NumCameras: 1
to your config.yml file. Re-position and re-calibrate your camera (camerasetup.bat / and you're all set. If you're serious about single-camera, you should check out our DevKit which is optimized for that case.

3Gear Development Kit

Our new DevKit has all the hardware and software you need to get started, without all the USB, driver and compatibility issues. Our developer kit puts the best hardware in a single package that's fully tested to play well on both Mac and Windows.

Quick-Start Mode

Quick-start mode is a way to use our system without going through the longer hand calibration process. It's especially useful when there are many users of the same installation or for giving demos. The legacy hand calibration process is still available, but we're transitioning towards the user-friendly quick-start mode, which is suitable for most cases.


The dashboard is a way to control existing applications by driving the mouse and keyboard -- no programming necessary. We support several mappings, including XY, XZ and finger, as well as (experimental) swipe gestures.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

VLC Media Player Demo

One of the great things about in-the-air hand gestures is that they're not mutually exclusive from mouse and keyboard input devices. Hand gestures can be a great addition to the desktop experience. Say you're playing music while you work or browse the web, but the next song you have no great affinity for and wish to skip it or the volume is too low and you want to turn it up so you can bounce around in your chair, you could use gestures to adjust the player running in the background. No need to alt-tab and switch context from your current application!

This video demonstrates possible gestural controls for VLC Media Player. It's playing NASA clips, but the controls would work equally well with a music playlist.

Summary of the gestures:

Play/pause - Double pinch
Seeking forward/backward - Pinch and drag to the right/left
Volume up/down - Pinch and rotate clockwise/counter-clockwise
Next/Previous clip - Spread hand flick right/left

This is just one possible gesture set. All the gestures can be operated with either hand, but since we can identify which hand you are using, it is also possible to assign operations to specific hands.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Mac OS X Support

The heart exploration demo running on a 15" MacBook Pro.

Good news everyone!

As many of you have requested, we've started supporting the 3Gear Systems SDK for the Mac. You can now add hand gesture controls to your shiny Mac OS X devices! Download the latest Mac OS X SDK here. For system requirements and details on how to set up the SDK, please refer to our Mac installation guide.

Note: Due to limitations of the Asus Xtion Pro and Kinect for Windows, only the Xbox 360 Kinect sensors are currently supported on the Mac.

Also, please refer to our licensing page for information on how to obtain a license.

Happy coding!

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Now that the public beta period is over, you might be wondering how to get a license for our hand tracking SDK. We offer three types of licenses: a 30-day evaluation license, a commercial license, and an academic license. For more specific details on how to get one of these license, please refer to our licensing page. We hope to hear from you soon!