“We haven’t re-invented the mouse,” said Robert Egery, President of Montreal-based technology company, DSI Datotech Systems Inc. “But what we’ve developed could well replace it in 3-D applications, taking the human/computer interface to a whole new level.”
DSI’s revolutionary, multi-point, HandGear touchpad, released on schedule, uses a hand-gesture interface and lets the user perform multiple tasks by allowing them to sidestep intermediate commands required when using just a mouse and keyboard. The product is available for order immediately with an API Plug-in for Discreet’s 3ds max. Plug-ins for Softimage XSI and Alias/Wavefront’s Maya are scheduled for release shortly.
“For a designer or animator, the ability to view a continuous run-through of a model they may be working on can only benefit the process,” said Egery. “If you think about it, the only way to properly judge if a movement or an effect works, is in real-time. And that’s where HandGear comes in.”
“One thing we wanted to ensure was that it would be easy to use,” said Michel Leroux, Director of Multimedia Product Marketing. “So the technology was designed to recognize hand and finger movements which are completely natural, or intuitive, to the user. This way, after a short learning-period, the user can concentrate literally on the work at hand, rather than on what the fingers are doing.”
With the capability to ‘grab’ and modify 3-D objects, allowing real-time interaction and manipulation, the users’ degree of creative freedom is enhanced. Three-axis navigation in 3-D, and the ability to edit, transform and modify in real time, result in greater user-productivity. This is especially so when working with complex programs such as those used in 3-D animation, VIZ/SIM (visualization and simulation), DCC (digital content creation), graphic design and video-game design applications.
In addition to being able to simultaneously translate, rotate and scale a virtual 3-D object, HandGear offers 3-D camera pan, orbit, dolly and zoom capabilities. Until now, such features have been difficult to generate and control using just a mouse.
“We’ve really gone to great lengths to ensure that HandGear makes human/computer interaction more user-friendly in a wide variety of applications,” said Leroux. “Also, we haven’t lost sight of the fact that the software and hardware that’s available to professionals today will inevitably be available for the general public tomorrow.”
DSI’s HandGear is the first of several models that apply Gesture Recognition Technology to a broad base of applications. DSI plans to introduce products aimed initially at the multimedia market, while simultaneously expanding its technology to target engineering, financial, banking and biometric applications. Over the past six years, DSI has developed proprietary technology, placing it in a leading position in the field of Gesture Recognition Technology.