PC program controls mouse cursor with hands

Posted at 08/17/12 10:28 AM

A representative from Mapua demonstrates how an application developed by three of the school’s engineering students works during the DOST exhibit at the SMX Convention Center. Photo: Handout

MANILA, Philippines – For their thesis project, three computer engineering students at the Mapua Institute of Technology designed an application that allows users to control a mouse cursor through hand motions.

Jeston Babila, Rommer Son Cañete and Girly Perando did this using the Microsoft Kinect SDK, a gaming device that recognizes body gestures.

“We talked to different kinds of people – from students to professionals, from kids to grownups. We demonstrated our project to them and we received different kinds of responses. But the most rewarding was the fact that they enjoyed it judging by their smiles and laughter as they tried the application,” Cañete said.

"And this also might serve as a good alternative for gaming inputs and PC control. Instead of playing PC games with an ordinary mouse, they may use the program and make it more enjoyable.”

The students’ computer program has been showcased at the annual Department of Science and Technology’s nationwide exhibit at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

They said that for the program to work, one has to have a Kinect sensor connected to a computer through a USB serial port.

“Our program does not only provide mouse control and shortcuts but it also has a user-tracking mechanism that allows a Kinect sensor to move horizontally to the direction of the user. Kinect, just like a normal camera, has a limited view but with a tracking mechanism, the user does not need to be positioned in one area,” Babila said.

“Gesture control might not be as new as several gesture-based applications already being developed. But in our project, the concept of applying Kinect for full mouse control and PC control support with user-tracking mechanism is fresh,” Cañete added.